Fraudsters use computer software to scam Derbyshire businesses

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Derbyshire police are encouraging businesses to be ‘vigilant’ against ransomware cyber attacks.

A police spokesman said: “We have received reports of a strain of ransomware called ‘Dharma’ being circulated by fraudsters, which has affected a business in Derbyshire.

“Fraudsters will send an email to businesses containing an attachment. This attachment will contain ransomware, that once downloaded will encrypt files and demand money to recover the files.”

The offenders utilising Dharma will not decrypt all files if the ransom is paid. They will decrypt a portion and then request further payment from the victim.

Derbsyhire Police are urging victims to refuse to pay the ransom demands and to contact police and Action Fraud.

Tops tips on staying safe from similar ransomware attacks include:

•Having virus protection is essential, ensure that it is kept up-to-date;

•Don’t click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can ‘spoof’ an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication.

•Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.

•Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It’s important that the device you back up to aren’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or click here to report crime to Action Fraud