Businesses turn to encryption apps to shut-out ransomware attacks

AUSTRALIAN businesses are turning to encryption apps to fight the flood of cyberattacks like the crippling WannaCry ransomware that brought down 200,000 computers across the world this week.

The Telstra Cyber Security Report shows the rate of cybercrime had doubled in the past year, with Australia identified as the top target for malware in the Asia Pacific.

Nearly two-thirds of Australian businesses have been hit by ransomware in the past year, and one in 10 incidents take the businesses at least a day to recover.

Tim Gallagher, who has created the SafeSwiss app that runs on servers in Switzerland and provides better than military grade encryption, said he had experienced a 78 per cent spike in downloads this week in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack.

Simon Ryan, Chief Technology Officer at First Wave said people were increasingly turning to apps such as WickR and Confide that encrypted messages, or other apps that offered “ephemeral communication” with messengers that destruct once they have been written and read once.

One of the lessons of the crippling ransomware WannaCry that infected thousands of computers across the world is that in times of technology crisis the best backup is a pencil and paper.

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The WannaCry ransomware worm hits governments and businesses across Asia and experts warn of a wider impact to come globally as employees returning from the weekend switch on computers and check e-mails. Ryan Brooks reports.

Cyber attack aftershocks disrupt devices across Asia

While Australian businesses escaped the worst of the first wave of WannaCry attacks, there were reports in the UK of doctors reverting to handwritten notes and whiteboards when hijacked computer systems forced them to shut their doors to anything but emergencies.

The lesson echoed the experiences at Sony, which was targeted by North Korean hackers in 2014 in protest against the Seth Rogen comedy…

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