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NASCAR Team Pays Ransomware Fee To Recover Files Worth $2 Million (softpedia.com) 58

An anonymous reader writes: "NASCAR team Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) revealed today it faced a ransomware infection this past April when it almost lost access to crucial files worth nearly $2 million, containing car parts lists and custom high-profile simulations that would have taken 1,500 man-hours to replicate," reports Softpedia. "The infection took place on the computer belonging to CSLFR's crew chief. Winston's staff detected the infection when encrypted files from Winston's computer began syncing to their joint Dropbox account." It was later discovered that he was infected with the TeslaCrypt ransomware. Because the team had no backups of the crucial data, they eventually paid the ransom (around $500). This happened before TeslaCrypt's authors decided to shut down their operations and release free decryption keys.
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NASCAR Team Pays Ransomware Fee To Recover Files Worth $2 Million

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  • BACKUPS PEOPLE! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thedarb ( 181754 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @07:07PM (#52385905) Homepage


    • Re:BACKUPS PEOPLE! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zugmeister ( 1050414 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @07:46PM (#52386057)
      But... But... There was a backup! The files were on the laptop, and on the cloud (everything's safe and secure in the cloud, just ask a cloud services provider salesman), and on everyone else's computer that used that Dropbox account.

      All snark aside, you wanna know what's really awesome? If just ONE computer that used that Dropbox account had good backups going, they could have restored the whole mess from there. Restore for only $500? They should have offered to take those scammers out to dinner as well.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @08:09PM (#52386123)

        Or, you know, use revision control that's built into Dropbox

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I can second this having actually used dropbox revision control to recover documents after they had become corrupted. Dropbox keeps a 30 day record of all your revisions by default even on the most basic plan. Now you can pay extra to get an infinitely long revision history.

    • Stories like this one have been pushing me to back up our thousands of photos before mother gets hit with some cryptoware and we lose it all (one of our neighbors lost it all when her kids got Cryptowalled).

      I'm finally doing something about it, and was just sitting next to the PC watching Youtube to figure out what to do after installing the new 2TB internal drive. I have been scratching my head thinking of something that won't require Cygwin / rsync and will interact with Windows 7 backup files in case I

      • by NotAPK ( 4529127 )


        It's not perfect, and I'm skeptical of the business behind the operation, but it allows any host to backup to any other host. On top of this it offers encryption, deduplication, and snapshots, though the free version limits you to a daily backup - though that's most enough for most needs.

        Choose your most trusted host, add the 2TB drive to that computer, install Crashplan, configure the inbound backups and point the software at the external drive.

        Now from the rest of the hosts, choose to backup to

  • > Because the team had no backups of the crucial data ... Worth $2 Million

    Idiots. Absolute morons.

    What would happen if that laptop got stolen? Or dropped. Or rained on. Or run over? Or caught fire? Or corrupted. Or just plain files deleted by accident?

    I have no sympathy for data loss when there was no backup. If it's not important enough to have a back-up, then it wasnt important.

  • Computer hardware can, and will, fail..often at the worst possible time

    Anybody who cares about their data should have backup. Multiple layers of backup, some offsite (I know I do)

    Then, ransomware attack = hardware failure..annoying, but recoverable

  • by Anonymous Coward

    $2,000,000 / 1,500 = 1,333.33 Per Hour. That is CEO Money!!!

  • by zenlessyank ( 748553 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @07:28PM (#52385995)
    So no backing up!!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Like duh?

  • crucial files worth nearly $2 million

    would have taken 1,500 man-hours to replicate

    the team had no backups of the crucial data

    I expect the ransomware market to explode in the near future as more stories like this come out. Expect self-aware malware that asks for more money if the data is more important.

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @08:36PM (#52386215)

    "Because the team had no backups of the crucial data..."

    (sigh) Seems like someone at the NASCAR IT department needs adult supervision.

  • One.. no proper backup plan.

    Two... dropbox keeps revisions. They didn't have to pay most likely.

  • With all these idiots paying out ransoms and nobody getting caught, I feel like I went into the wrong line of work! It's depressing how dumb people can be when it comes to computers.

  • Let's face it. We can either help other people not end up like these people, or we can gloat.

    In the interest of helping:
    1. Install the anti-malware software BEFORE you get pwn3d. Sure, it won't help against zero-day exploits, but it will defeat the other 99%.

    2. Don't user your critical data server as a web-browser or email client. Period.

    3. Use a rolling OFFLINE backup strategy so you maintain multiple OFFLINE backups of your critical data so you can restore to yesterday, last week, two weeks ago, etc.


  • Have to wonder, now do they backup their stuff? Then, how long will they do that if they are. 3 months, 9 mo, year... Then why bother. Whammo!

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks