Despite having Norton anti-virus protection, Building Superintendent John McLean’s office computer was hacked sometime during the last weeks in January. Ransomware infected the machine. Cyber criminals captured all the files and encrypted them making them impossible to read. The bad guys were demanding $450 to be paid in internet bitcoins to unencrypt the files and return them to readable condition. Of course, there was no guarantee the criminals would honor the bargain after we paid, because – criminals! Luckily a board member happened to have a copy of John’s most important file, so PT opted not to pay the ransom or deal with the *&%# crooks.
This incident serves as a reminder of how sophisticated and devious these cyber miscreants are and how careful and vigilant we all must be. With the help of Scott Miyazaki of local computer repair company Geeky Clean PC, John’s entire computer hard drive was cleaned and the vital programs re-installed. We are happy to report everything's up and running once again.
Ironically, the same day Scott discovered our particular virus, NBC Nightly News featured a story about the newest in cyber crimes - "Ransomware." Pacific Tower, always on the cutting edge!