Kelowna News

Kelowna RCMP warn of malware attacks targeting businesses

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

Kelowna RCMP have issued a fraud alert following ransomware attacks on several local businesses.

"In recent months, several local businesses have experienced cyber attacks and ransomware. And it’s not just larger corporations that need to protect themselves, small mom and pop businesses can fall victim to ransomware as well," the RCMP in a news release states.

"Ransomware is a form of malware that attacks a device or network. It injects an encryption code which causes your data to be unreadable or unusable. The attacker then sends an email offering to unlock the information in exchange for a ransom in bitcoins."

RCMP said the sequence of events usually looks like this:

  • Infection happens (often by a phishing attachment to an email)
  • Your data becomes encrypted and unusable
  • You receive the ransom demand
  • If you pay, you may or may not get the key to decrypt the information

Police say businesses and residents can protect their information by not answering suspicious emails and not clicking on any links in them.

RCMP are also asking people to be cautious with unsolicited emails. Police suggest businesses backup your data, install anti-malware software, change passwords often, enforce an employee security policy and update computer systems regularly.

If you or your business has been a victim of ransomware or another scam contact your bank, the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or through the Fraud Reporting System.

To keep your business safe, more information can be found online.

Anyone with any information about this crime can contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by leaving a tip online.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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