Beware, nothing is sacred in the world of ransomware. After being tricked into opening an infected email, a Scottish brewery was locked out of its own computer systems.

To get access back, the ransomers demanded two bitcoins, worth a total of £9,600. Despite having three months’ worth of sales data at stake, Arran Brewery bravely refused to pay.

They have since used an IT consultant to eliminate the virus and are working on restoring the lost data, if possible. According to Arran Brewery when speaking to BBC, the attack was “very devious”.

“We advertise job vacancies on our website. One such job vacancy was for a credit control and finance assistant post, now filled,” Arran Brewery managing director Gerald Michaluk explained.

“Out of the blue we started getting applicants for the post from all over the country and the world. I assumed one of my colleagues had advertised the post. However, this was not the case; the attackers had taken our website vacancy and posted it on some international jobs site.

“We were getting three of four emails a day, all with attached CVs. The virus was in amongst the genuine job seekers, and when the CV was opened it took effect.

“I hope if anyone finds themselves in a similar position they can recognise the MO of these bandits and not have the same issues we have had.”

The best defense against ransomware is a combined approach. Make backups and protect them with dedicated anti-ransomware safeguards, practice anti-phishing training and techniques, and have a firewall and anti-malware software at the ready.

Posted by Adam Ipsen

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