Blackmail: The Dangers of the CryptoLocker Virus for the Hire Industry

18 August 2016

Blackmail: The Dangers of the CryptoLocker Virus for the Hire Industry

When it comes to disasters in the workplace, fires and floods - as devastating as they can be - are easy to spot. A non-physical disaster, however, is much more difficult to identify - but equally as destructive. So, what happens when your hire business is under threat - and you don’t even know it?

The CryptoLocker virus is a rapidly-growing issue for businesses of all industries across the globe. A form of ransomware, it hijacks a user’s documents - typically via a phishing attack - and demands payment (within a tight time limit) in order to release them back to the owner. If the owner refuses to pay, the files are permanently deleted.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre in California found itself as one of the biggest victims to date of the virus in February this year, with the hijackers demanding a huge £2.4m for the return of the documents.

But the hire industry is just as much at threat. Would your hire business continue to function with loss of access to files? Permanent deletion of key documents? Encrypted assets? Would you pay to release the files? And, even if you did pay, could you be sure that the files will be returned to you?

Below are our key tips and advice to avoid falling victim to the devastating CryptoLocker virus:

  • Stay vigilant - Be wary of emails from unknown senders, particularly those with attached files that require downloading.
  • Be proactive - Do you have the ability to restrict internet access? Ensure you have a firewall, up-to-date virus and spyware protection and have network policies in place.
  • Have a backup - Some ransomware models work by preying on your fears and do not actually retrieve or delete your files. CryptoLocker is not this kind of model; if you fall victim to this virus, your files really are gone. Having a backup system in place for your sensitive, business-critical files will provide you with some support and reassurance, should the worst happen.
  • Consider hire management software - Cloud-based rental software provides you with reassurance and much-needed backup, should your hire business be attacked by the CryptoLocker virus. This kind of hire management software gives you the opportunity to store your data and run your business applications on powerful, remote servers that require a login to access. Your data is stored over a secure, encrypted connection, adding an additional layer of security and, as an added bonus, on-site storage is freed up and costs are predictable (you simply pay a monthly fee for your cloud rental software).


MCS offers cloud rental software, providing you with the additional reassurance that your data and files are safe.

To find out more about how cloud rental software could benefit your business, please download our new concise guide 'Seven benefits of choosing Cloud Rental Software'. Click to download it here or click the thumbnail image below.  

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