MCC Daily Tribune Archive

You Are The Target

Before the Internet, criminals could only steal what they had access to, physically.  Today, criminals use the Internet to target millions of people worldwide, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  They have access to sophisticated tools that automate these attacks -- meaning you are constantly under attack by thousands of worldwide criminals.

Many people mistakenly believe they are not a target and their information or computer has no value.  Conversely, your personal information and your computer have tremendous value.  In fact, you are one of the primary targets of cyber criminals.  Your identity information is worth $12.00 to $25.00 on the black market and an infected computer is worth fifty cents.  All it takes is for you to reply to a phishing email or click a link that will download malware on your laptop.  It’s not that hard for cyber criminals to infect hundreds of thousands of computers daily.

The simplest way to hack into an organization is by targeting its employees.  Unaware employees can make common mistakes, such as clicking on malicious links or by inserting a student’s infected USB stick in your computer.  As a result of these mistakes, you or your MCC account has become a primary target.

Here are two general guidelines to follow:

1)      Always be cautious and assume you are being targeted.  You may think you or your information does not have value, but it does.

2)      On the Internet no one can be trusted and attacks are a constant.  If something seems suspicious or wrong, it most likely is.

Once a cybercriminal infects your computer or steals your information they can then use that information to commit identity theft and fraud or they can sell your information to other cyber criminals.  Often cyber criminals will attempt to not only steal your personal information but are known to hack your accounts to get access to your organization.  This is how Target was breached.

This cyber-security tip is brought to you by the ETS: Cyber Security Awareness Program.

Donna Pogroszewski
Communications and Network Services