“Shields Up” warning for more than just corporations

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 3:56 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - There is conventional war, like the one being waged in Ukraine right now. But just beneath the surface there’s cybersecurity combat. Computer experts infiltrating infrastructure, interrupting banking operations, communications, and even power grids.

So interconnected; to believe such disruptions could not happen here is a bit naive.

“Cybercrime has no borders,” says Keith Barham with Debug Computer. “Russia released the virus on Ukraine to take down banks and utilities. It has already spread outside Ukraine into other countries. It’s like COVID, you can’t contain it once it’s out there,” he says.

Barham says with no containment, it means everyone can be subject to cybercrime--from corporate executives to the person who has a computer at home.

All must take precautions he says.

Have a complex password, which is different for devices as well as accounts. Get the most updated anti-virus and malware systems. Update devices’ operating system and software. Backup systems on an external hard drive and unplug it from the computer.

He says companies like Microsoft, Amazon or even the IRS are not going to contact anyone via email. Taking the bait, he says will be a way to infect a computer which could include ransomware.

A notice on an email saying an account has been compromised shouldn’t be a reason to quickly click on a link. Do research, and if need be, use a conventional phone to get the facts.

Chances are good if Russia decides to retaliate because of sanctions, banks or other financial institutions could likely be targeted on a large scale. Have updated information on accounts and keep them safely stored.

“We’ve been saying it from the beginning, just cause you’ve seen it on the internet doesn’t make it correct,” says Barham.

Verify what is seen on Facebook or Twitter before sharing it. Otherwise, the sender could be an unwilling partner in a disinformation campaign.

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