CRIME

Orem company targeted by hackers, owners claim they spent thousands to fix the problem

Jun 8, 2021, 8:25 PM
Orem hackers...
Photo: Adobe Stock

OREM, Utah- Owners of an Orem company reported hackers nearly destroyed their business with ransomware, and they’re still cleaning up the damage the hackers left behind. This attack has cost them thousands of dollars, and investigators weren’t able to help much.

Officials with Hot Start confirmed their data was hijacked on either May 31 or June 1.

Hot Start is a direct-mailing service that makes fliers advertising refinancing loans targeted for veterans. Owner Randy Young said when workers arrived on the Tuesday following Memorial Day, few of their computers would turn on and those that did displayed a ransom note.

Young said, “Yeah, I was extremely freaked out.”

Their databases reportedly took decades to compile, and Young said the information in them is extremely valuable.

“We were literally losing thousands and thousands of dollars an hour,” according to Young.

He says the ransom note instructed management to download a TOR browser then log onto a specific website and pay the hackers, then they would release the files. The note read, in part, that the hackers didn’t care about the company and that they were not going to be sympathetic.  It read: 

 

“If you will not cooperate with our service – for us, it does not matter. But you will lose your time and data, cause just we have the private key. In practice – time is much more valuable than money.”

 

In the end, the company found ways to get the data back, but it cost them thousands of dollars and took a lot of time.  Young said they know what their weakness was and they’re taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. However, he says local police weren’t equipped to handle this kind of investigation, and he hasn’t received much assistance from the FBI.

He said, “We were looking at 100 percent loss of everything.  In our business, the way this is set up, there was no way to recover it, just start over.”

Cyber security experts said the antidote to ransomware is having a strong backup system.

XMission President Pete Ashdown said, “Have not just one back-up, but a back-up that stretches back a year.”

According to Ashdown, 99 percent of all ransomware attacks happen due to human error, with employees clicking on links in their email boxes.

“Make sure everyone in your company is aware of the problem and aware of the consequences,” he said.  “Keep those back-ups and have good passwords.”

Today’s Top Stories

Crime

Maria Astorga-Chavez (left) was last seen in August of 2015 with Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez. H...
Chris Jacobs

Suspect in 2015 murder of West Valley City woman arrested

The suspect was on the run from law enforcement for seven years at the time of his arrest. Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez is now in jail.
10 hours ago
At least 127 people are dead and hundreds more injured, police say, after chaos and violence erup...
Heather Chen, Raja Razek and Kareem El Damanhoury, CNN

Indonesia stadium riot: At least 127 people reported dead following soccer match, police say

At least 127 people are dead and hundreds more injured, police say, after chaos and violence erupted late on Saturday following an Indonesian league soccer match between two of the nation's biggest teams.
2 days ago
Lisa Garner. Photo credit Draper City....
Mark Jones

Lisa Garner has support of Draper mayor to become next city judge

Draper Mayor Troy Walker is seeking the appointment of Lisa Garner as the city's next judge. The appointment must be approved by the city council on Oct. 4.
3 days ago
Two Murray police cruisers are shown...
Mark Jones

Murray Police warning public to be on lookout for scam

Several reports of a scam have been reported in Murray. According to police, a caller pretends to be from the Murray Police Department and attempts to notify a person of a warrant and insists the person pay the bail amount.
3 days ago
An electronic sign on the campus of the University of Utah was seen displaying pornography today....
Becky Bruce

Slight increase in crime on U of U campus from previous year, report says

There has been a slight increase in crime on campus over the previous year, according to a report released Friday by the University of Utah.
3 days ago
salt lake shooting arrest...
Simone Seikaly

Teen arrested, suspected of aggravated murder in Salt Lake City

The suspect in a fatal shooting on Sept. 10 was arrested in West Jordan after a search warrant pointed to his whereabouts.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Orem company targeted by hackers, owners claim they spent thousands to fix the problem