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PNP warns against 'kidnapping-for-ransom' online

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) on Wednesday warned companies in the country against ransomware, an online "kidnapping-for-ransom" modus of cybercriminals.

"Ang trending ngayon is ransonware. 'Yung they will automatically encrypt your file, para bang sa traditional may kikidnapin na tao tapos pababayaran," Superintendent Jay Guillermo, PNP-ACG spokesperson, told reporters at the sidelines of the 4th National Summit on Cybercrime.

"They will kidnap your data, information tapos babayaran mo 'yun sa kanila for the password," he added.

He said when a data is encrypted, it cannot be accessed or opened by the owner unless they get the password.

He said those victimized by ransomware are mostly companies.

"Victimized are companies that have information, very vital yung information na 'yan. They will encrypt that file eh hindi mo s'ya mabubuksan kasi for you to open that you have to have a password," he said.

He said they are currently investigating two to three cases of ransomware in the country.

"It is already happening, but with regard to the company wala pa namang reports. Only yung file nila it was encrypted. natakot lang sila if they (attackers) will use this information," he said.

He said attackers sometimes ask for a payment through bitcoin or cryptocurrency and an online payment system.

"Minsan two or three bit cons, mga P120,000 ang bit coin. Through virtual currency [ang bayad]," he said.

Backing-up your files, regularly checking the backed up files and avoiding opening attachments on emails from anonymous senders or people you don't know are among the best preventive measures against ransomware. —ALG, GMA News