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ICFE eNEWS #19-13 - April 4th 2019

Cyber Attacks: More Than Phishings

Cyber security attacks have become common in our everyday lives. The news is full of reports of identity theft, breaches, and the damage caused to companies and individuals who have fallen victim.

Most of us think of cybercrime in terms of phishing emails or credit card theft, but cybercrime comes in many forms. It is important to understand how to identify them and protect yourself from falling victim.

Quick Facts:
• Every 39 seconds there is a cyber attack
• 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error
• Globally, the estimated cost of cybercrime in 2018 was $1 trillion dollars
A cyber attack is any attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal or gain unauthorized access to or make unauthorized use of a computer and/or computer networks. Cybersecurity practitioners anticipate that attacks will intensify as our reliance on technology continues to increase. From accessing email on mobile devices to Wi-Fi connected light bulbs and appliances, people are accepting more and more risk, increasing the opportunities for cyber attackers to access our personal information.
Below is an overview of some known types of cyber attacks and ways to protect yourself and your family against them:
Commonly known types of cyber attacks:

Attacker uses a tool to attempt every combination of letters and numbers with the hope of eventually guessing the password and gaining access to an account, website, or computer.
How to prevent Brute-force?
Reset passwords on a regular basis. If available, set up login notifications from untrusted devices.

Attacker deploys malicious software that is designed to cause damage to and operate on a computer system without the user’s knowledge or consent.
How to prevent Malware?
Install anti-virus/malware software on your devices. Keep anti-virus software up to date and run regularly scheduled scans. Think before you click.

Attacker secretly interferes and possibly alters communication between two parties who believe they are communicating directly with each other.
How to prevent Man-in-the-Middle?
Connect only to trusted Wi-Fi networks; such as work or home networks. Use caution if on a public network. Do not log in to websites that have certificate errors reported by your web browser or are not using encryption (https).

Attacker attempts to steal information, often by asking the recipient to provide login credentials, such as usernames and passwords, that would allow access to secure systems or accounts, usually made through email.
How to prevent Phishing?
If you receive an email with any request that seems out of the ordinary, no matter who it’s from, check with the sender to confirm it is legitimate. Hover over the linked-text to view the URL and confirm it directs you to a trusted site. If it is not familiar, don’t click. Check email for proper grammar and punctuation. Review and set up spam filters for maximum protection.

Denial-of-service (DoS)
Attacker prevents or disrupts a legitimate user from accessing a website, application, or computer.
How to prevent Denial-of-service?
It is very difficult to defend against a DoS attack launched by a sophisticated attacker. Typically, victims will have to coordinate their response with the internet service provider that provides network access.

Attacker holds a website and/or files hostage by encrypting or deleting them, demanding payment in exchange for their return.
How to prevent Ransomware?
Never provide personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message or instant message. Use only reputable antivirus software and firewalls. Back up files frequently.

Attacker creates an exact replica of a website with the expectation that an unsuspecting visitor will interact with the fake website and provide protected information.
How to prevent Defacement?
Verify the websites you visit are correct by reviewing the full URL. Look for incorrect spelling, formatting, and any other irregularities. If anything appears suspicious, leave the site immediately. 

Less commonly known types of cyber-attacks:
Cross-site scripting (XSS)
Attacker deploys malicious script onto a website, which an unsuspecting user visits, triggering the attacker’s malicious script to load and execute. This leads to theft of sensitive data, session hijacking, or worse compromises.

Spear phishing
Attacker targets a specific recipient or group and with detailed, specific messaging, in hopes of receiving information or gaining access to something protected. Whaling is the same as spear phishing, but targets individuals in positions of power and/or wealthy people or groups.

Perpetrators of cybercrime are smart, sophisticated, and persistent in their attempts to steal information. They do not only target large companies like LabCorp and Covance; they seek to gain access to an individual’s information as well. We must remain alert and vigilant to the signs and know what action to take to remain safe.
Visit the OIS mission:SAFE Resource Repository to learn more about cyber-attacks and cyber safety. If you have any questions, contact OIS mission:SAFE.

Resource: OIS mission:SAFE
P. William (Pete) Zivanchev
Program Representative

Covance Market Access Services
10300 Campus Point Drive, Suite 225
San Diego, CA 92121-1511

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Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and founder of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.) The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending practices, increase savings and use credit more wisely.

The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its financial continuing education courses programs and resources. In addition to eight Certification courses covering identity theft, credit files, credit repair and credit scoring, among others, it also publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE is a partner with the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves and Military Saves, both offshoots of America Saves.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

The ICFE helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G library, a free eNews service, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools in the ICFE Book Store.

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