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Information Security Consultant on Cyberattack


A cyberattack is wreaking havoc on computer systems worldwide. Information security consultant Brad Mathis from Keller Schroeder joined us on Monday to let us know what we can do to protect ourselves against the attack.

Watch the interview in the video player above or read the transcript below:

SK: Brad, thank you for joining us. I understand this is a worldwide situation, but you are hearing that there are some local people taking steps to avoid getting hit by this.

BM: I have. At this point, I haven’t heard of anyone that’s been affected locally. But I have heard of companies that we work with, as well as others, taking steps to make sure they’re protected.

SK: Who’s at risk?

BM: Everyone. If you have a Windows system and you have below Windows 10 – Windows 10 has that protection in there – but it could evolve.

SK: Is it something that you have to get an email first? Does it have to enter somehow?

BM: There’s an initial vector of a phishing email which is an email you receive that you weren’t expecting and they trick you into clicking something and opening something. That will take you to a site that may download the malicious content. Once that content infects your system – because this is not like traditional ransomware – it has a worm vector to it.

SK: What’s that mean?

BM: The worm vector will reach out and look for other vulnerable systems. So if you’re an organization and you have one infected system, and you think you’ve corrected all the other systems but there are a few that aren’t corrected – those systems could be infected as well.

SK: So what happens? Do they have access to all that information?

BM: They will encrypt your data and hold it for ransom. They ask for the equivalent of $300-$600. But the problem is there’s no guarantee you’ll get your data back because these guys are criminals.

SK: For these major corporations, $300-$600 doesn’t sound like a lot.

BM: It doesn’t sound like a lot. They know people will pay that in some cases. But when you multiply that worldwide, that could be a lot of money.

SK: So your advice is don’t pay it.

BM: That’s typically the professional advice these days. There are some that will pay it because maybe that’s their only option…

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