Cybersecurity News

Keeping you safer on the job and at home

In recent weeks, reports have circulated about one of the largest email breaches in history: nearly 750 million email addresses useful for sending phishing emails and 21 million unique passwords for breaking into email accounts — all for sale for $45.


It turns out this particular file is 2-3 years old, but newer email password data is also for sale by the same hacker. 


Your email password is your most valuable because it allows exposure to much of your digital life and access to your friends and colleagues. You can check if your email or password are for sale by visiting the website

If yours appears on the list, change your email password immediately. Make your new password at least 12 characters long, impossible to guess (don’t use your name or family members’ names as part of the password), and use that password exclusively for your email — no other online account. 


It’s also smart to set up two-factor authentication to log in to your email account. Two-factor authentication is where you enter both a password and confirm your log in on your smartphone or computer. Yes, this requires an extra step each time you check email, but it adds significant protection to your account. Search for websites that offer two-factor authentication by visiting 

Click on the image to download and print a PDF offering simple ways to protect your email account.

GDC _ Email Security.001.jpeg

Sprint, Verizon and AT&T say they will end the practice of selling customers' location information, compiled from signals transmitted by their smartphones. Supposedly, buyers of that location data couldn't track individual users, but hackers proved otherwise.


Is the Facebook Ten Year Challenge (where users post a current headshot next to one from 2009) actually designed to deepen Facebook’s facial recognition capabilities? The cybersecurity firm Sophos says, calm down, no it isn’t. The good news is that this game is a harmless challenge and only benefits Facebook by increasing traffic to the site. The bad news is that Facebook has compiled a trillion images in its database over the years where facial recognition has already been applied. 


A warning for the 200 million registered users of the online game Fortnite. Epic Games, the owner of the platform, says a flaw in the login could allow fraudsters to access players accounts and use their credit cards. Epic Games’ advice: change your password and never accept an offer for discounted or free “V-Bucks,” the currency used with Fortnite. 

The biggest cyber scams of 2018:


Can you spot them?

Take the GDC cybersecurity quiz!

The Information Technology team at GDC is committed to keeping you safe online, at work and at home. GDC Aware Force is a resource to keep you informed and alert you of some of the most recent cyber security threats. Our goal is to enhance security awareness and reduce the threat risk and loss of data, keeping you, your colleagues and Georgia residents safer.

If you have a question about cyber security or would like to alert us to suspicious activity online or at the office, please email the GDC Office of Information Technology team anytime, at

Timothy C. Ward

Interim Commissioner

Georgia Department of Corrections

Dan Brown

CIO, Director of

Information Technology

Georgia Department of Corrections

Ernest Bedsaul

Information Security Officer

Georgia Department of Corrections

In the upcoming edition of Cybersecurity News
from the IT team at GDC:
I think I've been hacked. Now what do I do?

Cyber Cartoon: Randy Bish

Photo credits: Pixabay, CNET, US Army

February 2019 a • Edition #63

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