KnowBe4 Says “We’ll Pay Your Crypto-Ransom If You Get Hit”

KnowBe4 Says “We’ll Pay Your Crypto-Ransom If You Get Hit”

In a bold move, IT security firm KnowBe4 announced it will pay a company’s ransom in Bitcoin if they get hit with ransomware due to human error of an employee. Security experts agree It will only be a matter of weeks before CryptoLocker or a variant will be back in business as the criminals who created it are still on the loose. When it does come back, KnowBe4 is confident it can help organizations protect their employees and networks through its Kevin Mitnick Security Awareness Training.

The FBI estimates 234,000 have been hit with ransomware like CryptoLocker, CryptoDefense and CryptoBit to the tune of $30 million in ransom fees in Sept-Dec 2013 alone. The US Dept of Justice claimed more than 300,000 computers had been “freed” from the ransomware in Operation Tovar this past weekend.

Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4 stated;

“Now is a very good time for IT to seize the moment and train its users. Anyone hit with CryptoLocker knows how destructive it can be. With the large number of phishing threats hitting companies, people can become immune to alerts. We help IT be more proactive and train employees to learn which Red Flags to look for and how to keep themselves and the network protected.”

Often, antivirus does not recognize a new CryptoLocker variant and an end user will have clicked on a link or opened an infected attachment, and encrypted their local files or worse, a whole file share. Once these files are encrypted, the only way to get them back is to restore a recent backup or pay the ransom.

According to one KnowBe4 customer:

“We made their security training mandatory after we were infected with CryptoLocker. We continue to reinforce good habits by sending fake spam/phishing messages to our employees and addressing any clicks that may occur. Continued education using KnowBe4 has empowered our users and the ability to "spot check" employees on-the-go definitely helps keep our systems safe.” R.B.

Sjouwerman added,

“Many employees take work home and access the network on personal laptops or devices shared with family members. KnowBe4 recognizes the need to help users stay secure in a variety of environments and we offer our clients a separate Home Internet Security Course for their whole family as an extra bonus. We are so confident our training works, we’ll pay your ransom in Bitcoin if you get hit with ransomware while you are a customer and your employees stepped through our training.”

Organizations are invited to visit the KnowBe4 website and request a quote for their organization. The special Crypto-Ransom offer is valid until June 30, 2014. Orders need to be received before that date 24:00 hrs:

About Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4

Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”) is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, LLC, which provides web-based Security Awareness Training (employee security education and behavior management) to small and medium-sized enterprises. A data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman was the co-founder of Inc. 500 company Sunbelt Software, an award-winning anti-malware software company that he and his partner sold to GFI Software in 2010. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help entrepreneurs tackle cybercrime tactics through advanced security awareness training. KnowBe4 services hundreds of customers in a variety of industries, including highly-regulated fields such as healthcare, finance and insurance and is experiencing explosive growth with a surge of 427% in 2013 alone. Sjouwerman is the author of four IT books, with his latest being Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.

For more information about Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4 visit

About Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick is an internationally recognized computer security expert with extensive experience in exposing the vulnerabilities of complex operating systems and telecommunications devices. He gained notoriety as a highly skilled hacker who penetrated some of the most resilient computer systems ever developed. Today, Mitnick is renowned as an information security consultant and speaker, and has authored three books, including The New York Times best seller Ghost in the Wires. His latest endeavor is a collaboration with KnowBe4, LLC.

Tags: Ransomware, CryptoLocker, Security Awareness Training

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