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Calgary Company and Town of Didsbury warn after ransomware attack – Calgary

A Calgary company faces a huge bill after being the target of a ransomware attack.

It all started as something good. At the beginning of April, the printers were working for Professional Excavators and Construction. A few weeks later everything froze.

“We have found that we are completely excluded from every part of our computer system,” said company president Jan Gryckiewicz.

“Accounting, appraisal, payroll – everything we do on our server has been frozen.”

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Professional excavators and construction work have become the latest victims of a ransomware attack.

To make matters worse, the company wanted to submit an offer for a large project on the day it all stopped.

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“The harm of not being able to do one of the biggest jobs in our company’s history is obviously damaging, but it was brutal to be ready to go again,” said Gryckiewicz.

He said the IT price to start up will be more than $ 100,000.

“To get that money back, we’ll likely have to do $ 1 million in extra work this year to cover an additional $ 100,000 in costs,” Gryckiewicz said.

The attack happened on April 16, and the company is now 90 percent back. The IT vendor said the company did everything it could to prevent the situation, including backing up the data on a regular basis.

IT pros say that most ransomware attacks are only reported when public bodies are victims and are required to disclose the information.

“The police cannot help. There’s no help for that, ”said Troy Drever, President of Pure IT.

Pure IT is not the IT provider for professional excavators and construction work. Pure IT’s claims are based on the larger problem of the ransomware threat.

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As more people work from home, Drever says it is important that data is secured outside of the company and that multi-factor authentication is used. But he said that despite their defenses, people are just a click away from a ransomware attack.

“Anyone can be a victim – any organization can – any person can. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of this and find out the hard way, ”said Drever.

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He added that cybercrime is not adequately reported and that ransom is often paid because the victim needs the encrypted data.

“If you’re not ready to lose the data, and if you don’t have a backup to restore, you have no real choice. That’s why it’s called a ransom, ”Drever said.

“The ransom is paid a lot. This is why it becomes such a big problem because cyber criminals make a lot of money. “

Gryckiewicz said they failed to pay the ransom and that he was not interested in getting more money out to investigate the source of the attack.

“Because there is no money changed hands between us and whoever brought this ransomware out, I don’t think the RCMP will pursue anything,” he said.

“Basically, it’s up to us to clean it up.”

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The city of Didsbury was also the target of a ransomware attack in March.

According to the city, scammers used ransomware to encrypt the city’s information systems and demanded ransom to decrypt these systems.

According to the city’s website, employees have “successfully minimized business interruption and taken steps to strengthen their defenses against the evolving cybersecurity attack threat and minimize the risk of future incidents.”

The city is now encouraging residents and businesses to protect themselves by using caution when clicking links or opening attachments, and advising people to change passwords frequently and use different passwords for different accounts that are not easy to guess .

In 2020, there were a total of 535 files flagged as cybercrime in the RCMP’s Southern Alberta District.

There were 401 files that fell into the fraud category and 23 into the extortion category.

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