The year 2020 has not started with sunshine and rainbows. In fact, this year has possibly been the worst in the past 15 years or so in terms of the diverse set of challenges we've faced as a global society. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not only increased the incidence of life-threatening disease, it has also increased the risk of cyber threats as more of us work remotely. These threats include not only cyber criminal activity such as scams, extortion, and data theft, but also industrial and nation state espionage.
Have you or someone you known ever been a victim of a phishing attack? Either through a phone call, email, or even a text message? All it takes is one unsuspecting individual to click or agree to something and all of your personal information could be compromised. Or worse, your company assets.
Most of us have at some point received an email with a relatively vague message such as, “Could you take a look at this?” and an attachment of some sort. This type of email could come from an unknown contact or even appear to be from a trusted co-worker or friend. However, hiding in the attachment is a piece of malicious code that could take down an entire business.
If you think that is an overstatement, ask the city of Riviera Beach, Florida.
The city council of Riviera Beach, Florida, unanimously voted to pay $600,000 in Bitcoin to a group of hackers who took control of their computer systems. Additionally, the council voted to spend nearly $1 million on new computer equipment because of this attack.