FBI Memphis
Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Clement Webb
(615) 232-7500
March 3, 2022

FBI Memphis Field Office Reminds Tennesseans About the Risk of Ransomware

Memphis, TN — The FBI Memphis Field Office is seeing a significant increase in the number of ransomware attacks, which is a type of malicious software, or malware, that prevents you from accessing your computer files, systems, or networks, and demands you pay a ransom for their return.

“Ransomware attacks can cause costly disruptions to operations and the loss of critical information and data,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas M. Korneski of the FBI Memphis Field Office. “Recent ransomware attacks in Tennessee have targeted health care providers, manufacturing, schools, and small businesses.”

The FBI does not support paying a ransom in response to a ransomware attack. Paying a ransom doesn't guarantee you or your organization will get any data back. It also encourages perpetrators to target more victims and offers an incentive for others to get involved in this type of illegal activity.

To avoid a ransomware attack, follow these tips:

  • Ensure your organization has an incident response plan, and that working with the FBI is part of that plan.
  • Educate yourself and your employees on how to identify and manage phishing lures.
  • Back up your data often and keep back-ups segregated and offline from normal operations.
  • Make sure all devices on your network are using the most current versions of operating systems and applications; and,
  • Keep your anti-malware software current.

If you are a victim of ransomware: