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HACKERS #HIT NORTH #CAROLINA COUNTY #GOVERNMENT AND #DEMAND TWO #BITCOIN #RANSOM

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

he county government of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, has been hacked, leaving their server files being held for a ransom of 2 bitcoins.


One of the growing problems for businesses and governments today is having their electronic files hacked and held for ransom. Last month, computer hackers targeted the Sacramento Regional Transit system, resulting in 30 million files being deleted. The ransom price demanded by the hackers for that attack was a single bitcoin. Now that ransom price is being doubled as hackers have hit the Mecklenburg, North Carolina county government and are demanding 2 bitcoins.

DON’T OPEN THAT ATTACHMENT!

County Manager Dena Diorio said that the hackers got into the county’s system when an employee clicked on an email attachment they shouldn’t have. (It’s amazing in this day and age that people still click on strange email attachments.) Once the click took place, spyware and a worm were unleashed into the system, freezing all of the electronic files.

Diorio told county commissioners in a meeting that the files were being held for ransom as the hackers were demanding 2 bitcoins, which is now worth almost $25,000 (at the time of this article’s writing). The deadline for paying the ransom is 1pm EST today.

Dena Diorio told reporters that the county was considering paying the ransom, but she did express some concerns over doing so, stating:

There’s a risk you don’t get the decryption key and don’t get your files back. There’s also the chance if they think you’ll pay, they may try to get you to come back again.

IS IT CHEAPER TO PAY THE RANSOM?

Local governments and businesses do find themselves in a quandary when targeted by hackers. Is it actually cheaper to pay the hackers off to once again have access to critical files? A third-party group could restore said files, but using them could cost more than what the hackers were demanding. Of course, as Diorio mentioned above, paying off a hacker could embolden them to attack you again.

This difficult decision is summed up by Diorio when she said:

We need to determine how much it would cost (to pay) versus fixing it on our own. There are a lot of places that pay because it’s cheaper.

The short deadline is obviously putting pressure on the country commissioners to capitulate to the hackers. As of now, the county is switching to paper records for their employees today.

As for the hacking attack, County Manager Dena Diorio summed it up by saying:

I don’t think we were targeted. I don’t think we were at fault. There have been many, many institutions that have been breached. I think we do everything we can to keep our firewall secure.

The post HACKERS #HIT NORTH #CAROLINA COUNTY #GOVERNMENT AND #DEMAND TWO #BITCOIN #RANSOM appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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North Carolina high school reportedly opens indoor shooting range

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Members of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at a North Carolina high school reportedly will be able to practice shooting at the school’s indoor range.

WRAL reported the Smithfield-Selma High School JROTC opened its 1,200 square-foot, six-lane, indoor shooting range last week. The program paid for constructions with the help of donations from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The cadets will practice shooting with Daisy pump air rifles, but must undergo extensive training before they can participate in the activities at the range.

“There’s a marksmanship safety test they have to take, and they have to get a 100 on it,” Commander David Wegman told WRAL. “In addition to that, they have to sign a safety pledge, get permission from home and then finally demonstrate on the range that they know how to handle one of these air rifles safely.”

Wegman insisted that the shooting range doesn’t pose a threat, despite the controversy surrounding gun violence and school shootings.

“The procedures that we have in place ensure that we do the same thing, the same way, every single time,” he explained.

Only four JROTC cadets are currently trained to use the shooting range. Wegman hopes to have all seniors in the JROTC trained and certified by next fall.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/04/20/north-carolina-high-school-reportedly-opens-indoor-shooting-range.html

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Debit card fraud impacts South Carolina Federal Credit Union

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Debit card fraud impacts South Carolina Federal Credit Union

The South Carolina Federal Credit Union sent out a letter to members this week alerting them of multiple people spotting fraudulent transaction on debit cards recently and are warning them to be cautious. In the letter, the South Carolina Federal Credit Union says the security of some of these debit card users has been compromised, but the credit union itself has not been hacked. The US Secret Service tells News 2 this information could have been compromised due to the increased use of card skimmers. US Secret Service Agent in Charge of the Charleston Office, John Kenney, says, “You want to make sure that it’s the actual device that you’re using, whether it’s the ATM or the gas pump. You want to make sure that there aren’t any skimmers attached to it because we have seen an up-tick in skimmer activity. So if the device doesn’t look like it belongs to the gas station or the bank, if it looks like it’s been added on, if you see any cameras over your shoulder, you want to be very careful about using that and in fact you want not to use it and to contact local police.” He says card users […]

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South Carolina Ad ‘Hides’ Key Fact

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

South Carolina Ad ‘Hides’ Key Fact

An ad from the Democratic challenger in the South Carolina governor’s race says that when hackers stole 3.6 million Social Security numbers from state computers, Gov. Nikki Haley “hid it from us for over two weeks” — but the ad […]

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