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Car auction house hit with $30 million ransom demand after crippling cyber attack

Consumer Protection WA said the Manheim had assured it that clients’ personal data had not been compromised and had indicated it would not pay the ransom.

It also said the company had called on IT experts from its United States arm to restore operations and create a new website.

Manheim has been approached for comment.

Consumer Protection WA likened the ransomware attack to the one that hit Toll Group two weeks earlier, disrupting freight and parcel deliveries.

In early February, Toll Group was hit with a variant of ransomware known as Mailto, which infected 1000 servers and crippled the freight giant for a month as it worked to remove the virus from its systems.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection WA Penny Lipscombe used the attacks as a warning for complacent businesses.

“Often the ransomware is downloaded by an employee who opens an attachment in a scam email or clicks on a link, giving the cyber criminals access to the computer system,” she said.

“The system is locked by the criminals and files encrypted, followed by a ransom demand to have the system unlocked.

“Of course, we recommend that companies do not pay the ransom as the criminals are likely to come back asking for more money.

“Paying will also give the criminals added incentive to continue their illegal and highly disruptive practices. Instead, seek expert IT assistance to have the computer system restored.”

Ms Lipscombe said all businesses should review and update their cyber security efforts.

“Staff also need to be trained not to automatically open attachments or click on links in emails, especially if the sender is unknown. Even when senders are known, staff should be vigilant as accounts may have been hacked,” she said.

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