The Charity Commission issued an alert on 11 March 2016, as regulatory advice to trustees, warning them of online extortion or ‘ransom’ demands currently affecting UK businesses. Charities could also be vulnerable to attack and so are encouraged to be vigilant.
What to look out for:
- a number of businesses throughout the UK have received online extortion demands from a group calling themselves ‘RepKiller Team’.
- the group have sent emails demanding payment of between £300 – £500 in Bitcoins [a form of digital or ‘crypto’ currency] by a certain date and time
- if their demand is not met, they have threatened to launch a cyber-attack against the organisation and damage its reputation by automating hundreds of negative reviews online
- the demand states that once their actions have started, they cannot be undone
Action to take
If you have received such a demand, or receive one in the future, you are advised to:
- NOT meet their demands or pay the ransom
- make a report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk
- retain the original emails (with headers)
- make a note of the attack, recording all times, type and content of the contact