by Andrew Bagrin, founder and Chief Executive Officer of My Digital Shield (MDS)
Cyber crime is getting the Hollywood treatment again with last week’s debut of “Mr. Robot,” a new TV series that follows a cyber security hacktivist who shut down DDOS attacks by day and hacks criminals in his free time, all in the name of doing good. It’s an interesting twist in the criminal case of the week format that’s sure to raise some eyebrows.
While Hollywood neatly wraps up cyber attacks and breaches within an hour, real-life victims aren’t so lucky. Just ask the new faces on our #BreachDuJour roster. This week, those include a breach that’s taken the Federal space by storm and another that might leave vacationers looking to reconsider their plans this summer.
At a time of year when families are packing up and heading off on vacation, the news proves that your cyber security can’t afford to take a break. Let’s dive right in and take a look at the latest #BreachDuJour victims:
A CIA-backed technology company was the bearer of bad news after discovering that logins and passwords for 47 government agencies were strewn across the Web – a cyber hacker’s dream come true! Recorded Future, a social media data mining firm backed by the CIA’s venture capital arm, has confirmed that login credentials for nearly every federal agency have been posted to open Internet sites. And cyber criminals didn’t have to go far to find this sensitive info!
The departments that were compromised include big names such as the Departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury and Energy, the CIA and even the Director of National Intelligence. With these credentials floating around cyberspace, these agencies are vulnerable to espionage, socially engineered attacks and tailored spear-phishing attacks. So, the waiting game begins as experts scramble to put a plug in this disaster before digital thieves take full advantage.
We didn’t expect the cyber breach rollercoaster to come to a stop this summer without wreaking havoc on one of our favorite amusement parks, now did we? Those of us heading to Hershey Park might want to consider using cash only, as news of a possible data breach has been announced after guests reported fraudulent credit card charges after visiting the park. Several financial institutions flagged a pattern of suspicious activity on customer cards that were used at Hershey properties from mid-March through late May 2015. Cyber criminals have created nothing short of a nightmare for park goers and Hershey! Data thieves sure know when to strike and couldn’t have picked a more inopportune time for the popular tourist destination.
Summer is no time to take a vacation from cyber security. As a rule of thumb – always be wary of suspicious websites asking for personal details, credit card information, social security numbers and the like. Let’s face it – cyber thieves will choose any opportunity to prey on vulnerable victims, and unlike your hotel or flight arrangements, the consequences can be irreversible.
Andrew Bagrin is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of My Digital Shield (MDS), a leading provider of Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) for small businesses. With more than 17 years of experience in the IT security industry, Andrew started MDS in 2013 to bring cloud-based, enterprise-level security technology to small businesses at an affordable price.