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Wisconsin officials report increase in ransomware threats

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that can deny users’ access to different systems or data
(AP)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 7:56 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin’s attorney general is warning of an increase in ransomware threats Monday that could cause residents to become the victim of cybersecurity crimes.

Attorney General Josh Kaul explained that the FBI has received 41 ransomware reports so far this year from Wisconsin, which is up from 30 in 2020 alone.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that can deny users’ access to different systems or data. Kaul noted that “cyber actors” will hold systems or data hostage until the user pays a ransom. The ransomware will also attempt to spread data to shared devices and other systems if demands are not met.

“As technological threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, DOJ’s Cyber Unit remains committed to investigating cybercrimes throughout Wisconsin,” said Kaul. “All of us can help combat the threat of ransomware by taking a few precautions: not clicking on links or attachments from unverified sources, using unique, complex passwords, and installing computer updates regularly.”

Kaul warned that a person may download ransomware unknowingly by opening an email attachment, or by clicking on an ad, link or website. He advises that people make an offline backup of their files and avoid interacting with unfamiliar emails, links and other messages.

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