The Kelser Blog covers technology and business topics such as Cybersecurity, IT Lifecycle Management, Modern Data Center, Workforce Enablement, and more.
During tax season, personal information is being exchanged at a much higher rate than any other time of year. Documents like W2s with Social Security numbers on them are just par for the course. It’s also a time of year when employers and employees engage in tax-related tasks that aren’t routine to them. There’s often a bit of chaos getting everything in order and even a bit of anxiety over doing it right. For hackers and scammers who rely on human error and deception, all of this combines to create ideal conditions. I was recently on WTNH’s Good Morning Connecticut alongside Michelle Seagull, Commissioner of the CT Department of Consumer Protection talking about tax hacks and scams targeting companies in Connecticut. Commissioner Seagull and I were also guests on the MetroHartford Alliance’s “Pulse of the Region” radio show with Brian Newman from CohnReznick discussing this same topic.
Twelve Connecticut state agencies were impacted by a cyber attack over the weekend. According to reports, the cyber attack appeared to be the nefarious ransomware WannaCry that wreaked havoc worldwide in 2017. Officials say that even though approximately 160 computers across twelve agencies were affected, the outbreak was contained by Sunday night and there were no reports of encryption or data loss. Fortunately, it appears that the state was able to effectively mitigate ill effects from the attack. As we’ve discussed with Arthur House, Chief Cybersecurity Risk Officer for the State of Connecticut, our state is an international leader in cybersecurity. This was demonstrated in the state’s response to the attack.
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Last week the third major ransomware outbreak in 2017 was spreading through Eastern Europe and even starting to creep further across the globe. So far striking Russia and Ukraine the most, Bad Rabbit has disrupted industries ranging from media outlets to banks. Some reports even have the attack showing up right here in the U.S. Similar to the Petya/NotPetya ransomware outbreak earlier this year (so similar in fact that Bad Rabbit reportedly shares 2/3 of its code with variants of Petya), this ransomware encrypts a system, requests a ransom (the current rate is about $285 in bitcoin) to decrypt the victim’s files, and then attempts to spread itself across the network. With ransomware and cyberattacks commonplace in today’s world, what takeaways can come out of the Bad Rabbit outbreak to help prevent these types of attacks from derailing your organization?
The malicious ransomware dubbed "WannaCry" has seized systems in over 150 countries since its discovery on May 12th, holding computers across all industries hostage. The program infects computers and encrypts their files, demanding $300 in Bitcoin or the files will be erased. This ransomware currently affects Microsoft Windows machines through an exploit known as EternalBlue. Given the severity of this attack and other ransomware variants following suit, it's time to make sure that your organization is protected. We've compiled this list of 9 resources that will help prepare your organization for malware attacks like WannaCry, so that you can ensure your files and information are safe.