Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, is threatening North and South Carolina with a direct hit this week. The rapidly intensifying storm also has the potential to stall near or just offshore, potentially impacting the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with devastating winds, extreme storm surge, heavy rains, and extensive flooding.
In today’s digital world, passwords are a necessary inconvenience — too important to overlook as a critical part of comprehensive security. Protecting your passwords means you’re protecting your data, which in turn keeps your most important identifiers — Social Security numbers, credit card information, home addresses, email accounts, and phone numbers — safe.
As the cybersecurity landscape continues to shift and change, new incidents occur with the speed of breaking news. Fresh data breach reports happen every day. Password hacks at one company lead to identity theft at another. New strains of ransomware continue to spread like wildfire.
With summer in full swing and many fiscal years ending, it can be easy to overlook the most important part of your day-to-day work: technology. Chalk it up to the overwhelming wave of data breaches and software vulnerabilities, or the ongoing threat of ransomware, or the targeting of high-level email addresses and decision-making processes through social engineering.
Last week, security experts discovered that hundreds of thousands of networking devices made by a variety of manufacturers could be infected by malware. This “VPNFilter” cyberthreat has been identified in internet routers, firewalls, and network-attached storage devices, leading the FBI to request that anyone with a residential or consumer-based device reboot it by turning it of and then back on again.
If you feel like robocalls are increasing, you’re right. A recent article in the New York Times reported that 3.4 billion automated calls were placed to landlines and cell phones in April 2018 — an increase of 900 million a month compared with April 2017.
These calls run the gamut of scam attempts, from callers claiming to be with the IRS, customer service for companies like Microsoft, credit card companies, student debt lenders, utility firms, and even foreign governments.
As cybersecurity threats multiply each week, a new version has cropped up — and many are claiming it’s the cleverest yet. This phishing scam works to try and throw a wrench in two-factor authentication, considered by many a necessary extra layer of password security.
Just when you thought the nonstop wave of data breaches had slowed down, a flurry of activity made recent news. In Pennsylvania, a hack of the Department of Education’s website compromised the information of 360,000 teachers and staffers. The city of Atlanta suffered a ransomware attack that took down municipal services and even caused Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest, to turn off its Wi-Fi.
Although it wasn’t technically a breach, 50 million Facebook users had their information accessed without consent in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.
Last week, the largest DDoS (or distributed denial of service) cyberattack in Internet history struck GitHub, a large web-based hosting service for computer code. At 1.35 terabits per second, unidentified hackers sent the largest flood of traffic ever recorded via an online mechanism called “memcaching” to try and bombard GitHub and bring their web infrastructure down.
Whether you’re paying your own taxes or working as a professional tax preparer this filing season, cybersecurity experts have issued several recent bulletins about hackers working hard to steal sensitive information.
On the tax preparer front, the Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies, and the tax industry revealed a new round of phishing emails with bad actors posing as potential clients or even the IRS to trick professionals into disclosing sensitive information.