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from the Office of the CISO
Keeping you safer as you work online
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> Hackers are using a devious way to steal money. Popular, legitimate websites can unwittingly display a pop-up ad that warns a user their computer is infected with a virus. The user is instructed to call a number and pay to have the virus removed, or click on the ad to download software that claims to remove the virus. But this is actually a scam. According to Malwarebytes, the reader should not call the number or click on the ad. Simply quit and relaunch the web browser. 

> In March, insurance giant CNA was hacked and personal information regarding 75,000 customers was stolen. According to Latest Hacking News, CNA is notifying affected customers and offering them two years of free credit monitoring.

> This may sound odd, but researchers at Sophos advise smartphone users not to join a Wi-Fi network with a "%" symbol in its name. They also advise against using a "%" symbol when creating your home Wi-Fi network. Doing so can cause technical issues when a smartphone tries to join it. 

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One way fraudsters get our personal information is by sending an email that convinces us to download and open a PDF, Excel spreadsheet, or Word doc that contains invisible, dangerous computer code. 

Here's an example. Move the red slider bar from left to right to see both the original email and clues that it's a phish.

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The Office of the CISO is dedicated to keeping you and your family safe online. If you think you've clicked on a phishing email, an urgent text message, or received a suspicious voice mail, alert the Global IT Service Desk immediately.

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Can a hacker block my email address?

A hacker can take over your email account, send emails in your name, and block you from logging in. So make sure the password to your email account is long, hard to guess, and unique to that account. Other than that, an individual can block emails from your address if they don't want to hear from you. 

I received a call claiming to be from DirecTV, offering a big discount on my bill if I would give them my credit card number and renew for a year. They had the correct last four digits of my social security number. But the call just didn't feel right, so I hung up. Was that smart?

As a result of the 2018 hack of credit reporting giant Equifax, the social security numbers of nearly every US adult is for sale on the dark web. So just because a caller knows your number doesn't make them legit. You did well. Trust your instinct.

I received three different authentication codes from Microsoft, but I didn't initiate anything. Is there something I need to do? 

If you have a Microsoft account, log in and check purchase activity on your account. See anything amiss? Notify Microsoft. Set up two-factor authentication, where Microsoft sends you a one-time login number by text each time you make changes to your account. That will prevent fraudsters from gaining access to your account because they don't have possession of your phone. 

Have a question about being safe online?

Thank you for your question!

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • July 2021 b • Edition #124

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