Garda are investigating several cyber attacks on the computer systems of small businesses in the midlands and west of Ireland, where hackers have encrypted the business’ data and demanded money for codes that would unlock the information.
The companies have said their computer systems have been hacked and data such as order books and information about customers had been encrypted, thus paralysing their businesses.
They told gardaí a note had been left on their computers demanding money, in one case $700 for the code to unlock the information. The amount of money being sought is small, detectives have said, adding that they believe the crime is being committed from outside Ireland.
The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has consulted specialists from the UCD Cybercrime Centre to help with the investigation.
Detectives are asking companies that have been targeted by these hackers to contact gardaí.
Photo: Criminals have hacked the computer systems of small Irish businesses and demanded money in exchange for a code that would unlock their information