Pumping the Brakes on Ransomware
Over a July 4 holiday weekend, Rose City Transportation, Inc. — a full service freight company that specializes in time-sensitive shipments — discovered that two key software applications were unable to be used. Other critical network files also were rendered inaccessible.
A network administrator quickly escalated the issue to its provider of managed backup services, Structured Communication Systems, Inc (Structured). Once Structured’s Managed Services team received the call for help, their engineers set to roadmap a solution: identify the problem, remove the problem, and restore access to the impacted apps and files.
Delivering a Safe Network
First, Structured Managed Services replicated the error and worked with the application vendor to begin remediation. This process revealed the problem was far more widespread than originally understood. In fact, it was determined that the entire Rose City Transportation network – including multiple hosts running various applications – had become infected with Zepto ransomware. Like Locky ransomware, Zepto scrambles files and then ransoms the decryption key for Bitcoin.
Digging deeper, Structured located the network’s “patient zero” — an individual workstation — and began the network restoration process.
“After critical network files had been infected by a ransomware virus on Friday, July 1, 2016,” said Greg Hamlin, president of Rose City Transportation, Inc., “an immediate response by all levels of the Structured Managed Services team was offered to Rose City. Their focused response allowed for critical network files to be quickly restored.”
A good defense against ransomware is a good backup. Fortunately, Rose City Transportation utilizes Structured Managed Services for Backup (Asigra), so a system restore was initialized. Meanwhile, Structured engineers methodically removed all traces of the virus from the network; files were restored and the system rebuilt within less than a day.
“The Structured Managed Service team was our ‘life line’ throughout this ordeal. They provided us with hands-on assistance over the course of a long holiday weekend – which ensured that all files were properly restored. The negative impact from this cyber ransomware was significantly diminished due to the quick response of their entire team. Thankfully, a complete and successful restoration of our Asigra backup was achieved!”
Greg Hamlin, president of Rose City Transportation, Inc.
In contrast with paying a ransom to cybercriminals to decrypt files or risk suffering data loss, this incident resulted in minimal negative impact all while Rose City Transportation successfully maintained business operations.
The Road Ahead
No organization or industry is safe from cyber attacks and must have a plan for when the inevitable happens. By partnering with Structured Managed Services, Rose City Transportation was prepared — even on a busy holiday weekend. With a team of engineers standing by, Structured Managed Services isolated the threat, secured their applications and reestablished network operations. Rose City Transportation, meanwhile, was able to focus on the future: business continuity, growth and longevity. They even got to catch a few fireworks.