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Most High-Profile Hacks of 2018… So Far

May 2, 2018

We’re not even halfway finished with 2018 and we’ve already seen a lot of high-profile hacks happen to some major targets. Cybercrime is a lucrative game now, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or a worldwide conglomerate, a hospital or a government agency – hackers will attack anyone!

While we do like to stress that cybercrime does happen even to small businesses, it’s sometimes useful to point out that even the big fish are susceptible to the same errors that anyone else can make. Here a few examples from this year that stuck out to us:

The City of Atlanta gets hit with ransomware

Around 8,000 City of Atlanta employees were hit with ransomware in late March, trapping their data until the hackers were paid a $51,000 ransom in bitcoin. While the ransomware was active, Atlanta residents could not pay their bills online, use Wi-Fi in the airports or use the city’s official website to report anything or contact anyone.

What scares many people about this attack that don’t know a lot about the seedy underbelly of the dark web is that this breach was carried out by a team of hackers. Most people, business owners included, picture a hacker as a guy in his mom’s basement with a hoodie, typing furiously at a keyboard. What they don’t know is that many hackers have gone professional, which is to say that they know they can make a lot of money attacking the right targets, so they communicate with each other and form teams to effectively unleash their viruses on their targets.

Attacks like what happened to the City of Atlanta don’t happen on accident, they happen because hackers notice when someone’s cyber defenses are not up to snuff.

Boeing was also hit with ransomware this year

News about this breach was kept vague (it is Boeing after all), but the fact that they could even be breached is in itself pretty frightening. What was reported was that a “limited intrusion of malware” infected a “small number of systems” that weren’t completely up-to-date. Make of that what you will.

This is an example that just does to show that if you’re not careful about keeping your software up-to-date, you are basically inviting hackers to take over your network. Just because it happened to Boeing doesn’t mean it was some unstoppable malware by a genius mastermind. It was likely that they forgot to update some of their systems as they said, or it was simple human error. Data breaches can really occur due to some simple stuff like this.

Baltimore’s 911 dispatch system hacked

Hackers will go after anything! While this attack did not go on for very long, it still interrupted Baltimore emergency services. Calls placed to 911 had to be manually redirected by call center support staff instead of electronically, which is obviously must faster.

As if we didn’t need another reminder that hackers have no conscience. They are just looking for a pay day, it doesn’t matter if you’re a 911 dispatch or even a hospital where lives hang in the balance. You need to protect your IT network all the same, to make sure nothing like this ever happens.

To find out more about how to bolster your cyber security, while also saving some money, check out the TOSS C3 website and call us anytime at 1-888-884-8677!

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