October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the FBI and its partners encourage everyone to do their part to secure their devices, networks, and data. (Source: RNN) October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the FBI and its partners encourage everyone to do their part to secure their devices, networks, and data. (Source: RNN)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Target, AshleyMadison.com, even the U.S. government, no one is immune from a cyber-attack. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the FBI and its partners encourage everyone to do their part to secure their devices, networks, and data.

It’s important for individuals, businesses, and others to be involved in their own cyber security. National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a Department of Homeland Security administered campaign held every October is perhaps the most appropriate time to reflect on the universe of cyber threats and what you can do to protect your information.

According to the FBI, below are the most popular forms for cyber thieves to steal your information:

Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users’ access to their files or threatens the permanent destruction of their information unless a ransom is paid. In addition to individual users, ransomware has infected entities such as schools, hospitals, and police departments.

The actors behind these sophisticated schemes advise the users that if they pay the ransom, they will receive the private key needed to decrypt the files. Most recently, these cyber criminals—demonstrating some business savvy—give victims the option of decrypting one file for free to prove that they have the ability to restore the locked files. 

Business e-mail compromise or BEC, scams continue to impact many businesses across the U.S. and abroad. BEC is a type of payment fraud that involves the compromise of legitimate business e-mail accounts—often belonging to either the chief executive officer or the chief financial officer—for the purpose of conducting unauthorized wire transfers.

After compromising a company’s e-mail account—usually through social engineering or malware—the criminals are then able to send wire transfer instructions using the victim’s e-mail or a spoofed e-mail account. BEC scams have been reported in all 50 states and in 100 countries and have caused estimated losses of more than $3 billion worldwide. 

Intellectual property theft involves robbing individuals or companies of their ideas, inventions, and creative expressions—often stolen when computers and networks are accessed by unscrupulous competitors, hackers, and other criminals. Intellectual property can include everything from trade secrets
and proprietary products and parts to movies, music, and software.

And the enforcement of laws protecting intellectual property rights (IPR)—which are critical to protecting the U.S. economy, our national security, and the health and safety of the American public—is an FBI criminal priority. The Bureau’s IPR focus is the theft of trade secrets and infringements on products that can impact consumers’ health and safety, including counterfeit aircraft, automotive, and electronic parts. 

The FBI is doing everything we possibly can, at every level, to make it harder for cyber criminals to operate,” said Associate Executive Assistant Director David Johnson, “and I believe many of them are now starting to think twice before they put fingers to keyboard.”

More Resources: National Cyber Security Awareness Month | Internet Crime Complaint Center | Cyber’s Most Wanted

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