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In part two of our Chattinn Cyber with with host Marc Schein, our guests, Sherri and Michael, continue talking about ransomware. They start with the question of whether or not you should actually pay the ransom. Sherri recommends making sure you have backups. Have a plan to resecure your data even if you have to engage with the hackers. From the legal side, Michael recommends contacting law enforcement—but not the local police. These days, the FBI works really hard to help. It also helps to have built a relationship with federal police ahead of time. Sherri suggests looking into community partnership programs that have sprung up recently.
Regarding police takedown, Sherri explains that some leading ransomware gangs have recently been taken down, including Emotet. Emotet was one of the leading technological threat distributors. With Emotet on your computer, all your information could be stolen within 15 minutes. And then they could simply nuke it all with the Ryuk ransomware. Members of that very gang have been arrested. Emotet will uninstall itself by April of this year.
A lot of repair software may actually be working as malware itself. It’s absolutely vital to have expert help at every step of the way.
Sherri finishes the episode by giving a few key things to watch out for to protect yourself from ransomware:
- Exposed remote login credentials.
- Email phishing.
- Software vulnerabilities.
She recommends using two-factor authentication and a VPN. Be sure to train users to think before they click. Michael urges to do your due diligence assuming there is risk. Get ahead of the proliferation of ransomware attacks.
- Ask for proof of life if you’re going to pay the ransom on your data.
- Knowing who to contact is important.
- An advisory can help to organize your response to hackers.
- There are downsides to getting your ransomware payments insured.
- You must treat any threat as a potential data breach.
- “There’s nothing new here from a legal perspective.” – Michael (13:00)
- “We actually have seen takedowns of ransomware-as-a-service gangs.” – Sherri (22:00)
- “You have to assume that there may have been data stolen.” – Sherri (24:50)
- “You cannot figure out what the breach is without the technology side.” – Michael (26:00)
- “The second you start a letter-writing campaign, you have to be mindful of the fact that you’re creating a record for court.” – Michael (33:10)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 31:27 — 28.8MB)
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In this episode of Chattinn Cyber Marc Schein interviews guests; Sherri Davidoff, CEO of LMG Security and author of the recently released book, “Data Breaches.” And Michael A. Kleinman, Special Counsel, Fried Frank. Sherri started working in cyber security before that was even a term. And Michael, on the other hand, comes from the legal world. A litigator, Michael started to see more and more clients needing counsel with regard to cyber and use privacy issues.
They begin their conversation digging into the issue of ransomware. Sherri explains what ransomware is and moves into how ransomware continues to evolve. She shares a story of a ransomware case that infiltrated a trucking company. This stranded the trucks and affected the retail industry at large.
They also discuss what kind of legal room the victims of a cyber attack actually have. It’s a complicated issue when business is disrupted—especially when they are contractually obligated to deliver. Sherri explains that businesses need to demand security reviews in their contracts, and the community as a whole needs to understand that transparency around security benefits everyone.
Michael talks briefly about notification laws and how they affect private data in contractual agreements. Sherri says that 75% of ransomware breaches take personal data. What you really need to do is figure out what they actually have before taking the next step of paying the ransomware.
- There is now ransomware as a service.
- The hacker economy is demanding more and more specialized roles.
- A cyber attack can actually cause a breach of contract.
- 92% of breaches come from third parties.
- There really aren’t standards for suppliers notifying when there’s a hack.
- Think about which suppliers have important access to your data.
- “The operational impact of a ransomware case, sometimes by design, often has this huge ripple effect—especially when who’s targeted is a key supplier.” – Sherri (6:00)
- “Once you start getting into a ransomware case, you start to realize how dependent even little things are.” – Sherri (9:35)
- “This issue of incidents arising out of third parties is not new.” – Michael (15:30)
- “You need to understand what the contracts actually say.” – Michael (18:20)
- “If your data is up there, YOU need to do an investigation.” – Sherri (20:36)
- “Reduce your access, and you reduce your risk.” – Sherri (21:30)
- “Today, ransomware is typically the tip of the iceberg. It’s the last thing you see after a long-range attack.” – Sherri (22:25)