Ransomware victim speaks out

Ziva from Ziva Corporate talks about the impact of a ransomware attack on her business

Introduction Ransomware victim speaks out

Ross Greenwood: We did tell you also about the ransomware attacks at the beginning of the program. Now, we understand as a result of talking with Alastair MacGibbon, who is the Prime Minister’s special adviser on cyber security, that there are around seven companies in Australia that have been affected. This is a significant attack on a global basis. But let me tell you it’s not the first or the last time that these ransomware attacks. We told you going back around 12 months about one such attack on a small business here in Australia that was one of many that we got in touch with. Ziva Lavecky is with Ziva corporate. She makes corporate uniforms for some of the biggest organizations in Australia, got a great business. She was attacked. She’s online. Hello Ziva, how are you?

Interview with Ziva Lavecky, Ziva Corporate

Ziva Lavecky: Good evening, Ross? Long time no speak.

Ross Greenwood: Long time no speak. Just explain to people, recap for people what happened to you when you started to get these e-mails.

Ziva: I came in the morning into the office. Actually, my assistant rang me already on the way that we’ve got some major failure with the computer considering the IT guy. I said, of course, ring him. I got into the office. We actually opened the server. We saw this unbelievable picture with a huge lock on it. They said, “We’ve got your file. We’ve got everything, what is current and what is past”. Unless you actually deposit, I think it was 7,000 bitcoins, into an account. As I did not know what it was, bitcoins, I made my inquiry. The thing is that I had one option. Try to strike–

Look, Ross, the problem is that industry like ours, which is very tough as you know, textile manufacturing in Australia, it’s insanity how tough it is. So I was not prepared to give anyone. I always tell everyone I grew up in Israel and we don’t deal with terrorists. However, when this all wore off, I realized that I had no business. I had absolutely no history of my bookkeeping. I had no history of my orders. I had no history.

Because I had a server, everything was on the server. It was a brand new server. Somehow, we were very fortunate that each one of us had the laptop at home that night. It was a Friday night, I came in on a Monday morning. So all was I left with was our e-mails.

And Ross, for the past 10 months, and it is a bit back, before I rang you, I rang Steve Price. Steve said, “It’s impossible. You have to get somebody. It’s impossible”. I said, “Steve, it is not impossible. It happened to me”. He was quite disbelieving. But anyway, I understand. Nobody heard. A lot of people still don’t know what it did. I then decided to get on to your program to alert everybody like myself with a small business that you need to back up everything. You need to keep you absolutely everything up to date. It’s to the point, Ross–

Ross Greenwood: Did you end up paying them or not, Ziva? Or did you try and just back it up from your laptops?

Ziva: No way.

The importance of backing up your files

Ross Greenwood: So you’ve got to have those backups. It’s an absolutely brilliant story. And as I say, Ziva, how is business at the moment by the way out of interest?

Ziva: Business is fine. I thank you for the plug. It is wonderful. If somebody in the government would like to assist the people in my industry a little bit, we have very clever manufacturers. We don’t have to go overseas.

Ross Greenwood: I’ll tell you what, you’re absolutely right, the reason why we always try and give you a plug. But this is an absolute abject lesson here. For every business, you’re going to have it backed up. As we told you earlier with Alastair MacGibbon, you’ve got to make certain also that tonight you’ve got all of the latest patches, security patches put through into your systems because the fact of the matter is you could suffer now.

Ziva has not suffered as a result of these latest attack but a previous one that occurred around 12 months ago. These are important. They can destroy a business if you have not got your files backed up. That is the lesson that Ziva, unfortunately, learnt the very hard way.

Ziva, I trust business continues. We’ll give you a plug. Ziva Corporate, anybody wants a uniform. Got to say, Ziva, she’s always good for. We appreciate your telling the story on the program this evening, Ziva.

Ziva: Thank you, Ross. Thank you.

Improving Payment Terms for Small Business

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