Thursday, Jul 07

NASCAR Racing Team Partners with Malwarebytes Following Ransomware Attack

Malwarebytes™, the leading advanced malware prevention and remediation solution,  is now protecting and partnering with Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR), a NASCAR racing team fielding the No. 95 in the Sprint Cup Series. The team recently fell victim to ransomware, where a crucial subset of data was held hostage. The company turned to Malwarebytes in the wake of the attack, and now deploys Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on all company computers to protect its data.

As crew chief, Dave Winston manages all track data from races, as well as data from test facilities and personnel information. Computers, all of which held Winston’s data, were recently infected by TeslaCrypt ransomware and the perpetrators demanded that the CSLFR team pay a ransom within 48 hours, or their data would be gone forever. The track data taken hostage contained key information that the CSLFR team had to ensure that their race cars perform at their highest level, car part lists, and custom high-profile simulation set-ups valued at $2 million. To recreate this data, it would have taken the team nearly 1,500 man-hours.

“Just knowing that we could lose everything that we had worked so hard to achieve was terrifying,” said Dave Winston, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crew Chief. “The data that they were threatening to take from us was priceless, we couldn’t go one day without it greatly impacting the team’s future success. This was a completely foreign experience for all of us, and we had no idea what to do. What we did know was that if we didn't get the files back, we would lose years worth of work valued at millions of dollars.”

In the wake of the attack, the CSLFR team was advised to look into using Malwarebytes to remediate any leftover instances of infection, and protect itself for the future. After working overnight to find bitcoins to pay the ransom and recover their files within 48 hours, Dave Winston and his team decided on Malwarebytes, which they were told could have prevented this attack. After running and installing Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, the company found and eliminated additional instances of malware infection from over 10,000 files. Now, the company is protecting all of its company data with licences for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

“Like most companies, we felt we had solid security in place on our digital intelligence with our software and firewalls, but this is a very new threat,” said Jeremy Lange, VP at CSLFR.  “It’s an area of coverage that you don’t realize you need until it happens to you.  We’re lucky that it all worked out and now having this partnership with Malwarebytes, we hope to inform NASCAR fans and the industry of this threat and the solution.”

The threat of ransomware is growing rapidly. Instances of ransomware in exploit kits, used to infect web users, have increased about 44 percent in the last six months alone, according to Malwarebytes research data.  Malwarebytes and CSLFR have launched a partnership to help educate the public about the very real threat of ransomware to companies of all sizes, and consumers of all kinds. The company will be sponsoring CSLFR at multiple NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races throughout the year. Malwarebytes was drawn to NASCAR because of the size of the NASCAR fan base and their loyalty to sponsors in the sport.

“We are honored to be partnering with CSLFR to emphasize to everyone including the NASCAR community that ransomware is a very real threat,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO, Malwarebytes. “Companies of all types and sizes can fall victim at any time. Instances of ransomware infection are growing rapidly, and the first step in fighting a disease is protection. At Malwarebytes, we are doing everything we can to help companies like CSLFR and the other Fortune 500 companies in NASCAR to protect and defend themselves from cyber criminals who want to take their incredibly valuable data hostage.” 


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