The Dickson County Sheriff's Office was compromised by the Cryptowall ransomware, with IT staff forced into paying a $500 ransom to have files unlocked. A streaming radio station was being played by a staff member, when he or she accidentally clicked on an ad that had malicious code - and Cryptowall was installed.
"Every sort of document that you could develop in an investigation was in that folder. There was a total of 72,000 files," said Detective Jeff McCliss, Dickson County Sheriff's Office IT director. "Is it better to take a stand and lose all that information? Or make the payment grit your teeth and just do it? It made me sick to have to do that."
Ransomware continues to plague companies - especially if they don't have recently backed up data - as infection typically begins with a social engineering phishing email. Employees are the first line of defense, and are all too quick to begin clicking file attachments and suspicious links in emails.