April '20

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82 • RV PRO • April 2020 rv-pro.com RV I N S I G H T M alicious ransomware online attacks on business computer systems are on the rise – and RV businesses are not immune. No one knows this better than Jim Blu- menthal, owner of Colorado-based Trailer Source RV Centers, whose business was recently victimized by ransomware. As Blumenthal learned firsthand, ran- somware infiltrates a company's computer system by downloading itself via malicious links embedded in emails and websites. Once it executes and gets a grip on a busi- ness's network or machine, ransomware quickly begins encrypting all a company's files – rendering them impossible to open without a special password key. Generally, networks and machines fully encrypted by ransomware serve-up a message on the business's display screens, advising users that their business files are encrypted and that they won't be acces- sible until the hacker behind the break-in is paid a ransom. Often, these ransom demands total tens of thousands of dollars or more. The problem, of course, is that busi- ness owners have to trust a criminal to provide them with instructions on how to de-crypt their files once money is sent to the hacker. And business owners have to live with the fact that the hacker will probably demand payment in the form of Bitcoin – a cyber-currency that's nearly impossible to trace. On Heightened Alert While Trailer Source RV Centers' Blu- menthal says he was able to escape from Ransomware Ransomware on the Rise on the Rise Experts advise RV businesses to safeguard their companies from growing online attacks on companies. Hackers using ransomware can encrypt all the files on a network or machine – often within hours of activation of the ransomware. By Joe Dysart

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