In wake of Sandhills Global cyber attack, what attacks do you need to watch out for?
Corporate attacks tend to be very different than the threats you're likely to face while browsing the web.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Cybersecurity experts continue to investigate the attack on Sandhills Global. They’re seeing if hackers were able to access client data. “Client data” can mean a lot of things, and someone being able to access it is a fairly broad threat.
Schrock Innovations technician Kayne Jensen explains, “It just means that somewhere along the line, someone has seen your email or something like that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have it. It just means that they are aware that you belong to that company.”
In fact, when it comes to big corporate hacks, the hackers are very rarely after your information. They’re just details caught up in the overall attack. That’s because hacks aren’t done as random acts of chaos, but as a part of a big, illegitimate business.
“They don’t do this for fun. They don’t do it to cause people to have a bad time. They do it because they want money”, says Jensen. “Customer’s data typically doesn’t get them money so that’s not something that they’re after. They’re after those big corporations. They want to siphon some of that income.”
The situations you need to watch out for are on the opposite side of the same coin. You can still lose money, but the way scammers go about getting money from you is very different.
“A lot of times we just see popup scams. Those just try to direct the customer to either call a number or go to a specific website that will lock up their computer on them”, says Jensen.
You’ve likely seen something like that before: While surfing the web, a popup appears over the top of everything else. A red screen, it warns of 5 viruses found on your PC, and it provides a helpful number to call for help. That’s the kind of thing Kayne Jensen says you shouldn’t fall for.
“When they call the number and allow those people to gain access to their computer, that is when they’ve fallen for the scam.”
The scammers may indeed fix the problem, but it’s one they created. Odds are, your computer didn’t have anything wrong with it until the scammers came along. If you think there is an issue, you’re far better off choosing to take your computer somewhere local.
“Any time you come in with a computer that you think may have a virus, whether it does or doesn’t, we don’t discriminate”, says Jensen. “We’ll take it to the back, we’ll check it out and make sure it’s clean, remove everything, and it’ll be at no cost, as long as they have our antivirus subscription.”
It may cost a bit to stay safe, but it could potentially cost much more to take a risk.