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Old 27th October 2004, 02:19 PM   #1
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Question Cyber Extortion Against Small Businesses

I've been reading recently about cyber extortion attempts against small businesses.

Here is how it goes: a hacker steals valuable customer data and says they will disclose that data publicly unless your company pays them. The hackers don't demand millions of dollars, just a sum that a small or midsize business could come up with (it would hurt to pay, but it would be possible). Say $6,000 or $18,000 or $27,000, depending on the business's size.

Does anyone know any business that has been victimized this way?

Anita Campbell, Editor
Small Business Trends
Let's connect on Twitter: @smallbiztrends

Last edited by Anita; 29th October 2004 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 27th October 2004, 04:27 PM   #2

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
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I have not heard about this, but it's unfortunite that the crooks are getting smarter...

Sounds like it should now be standard practice to set up fake customer data files on your site in case something like this happens. We have been doing this for awhile and have tracking in place that we can turn over to the authorities in the event that we get hit with something like this.

Also, the data is "seeded" with records to let us know if someone steals it and does other things with the information like spam or even direct mail. If everyone did this it would take away the attraction.

The beauty of doing this is that it takes very little time or energy to set up and maintain. If anyone wants some ideas they can contact me directly.

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