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#onlinedating | Four booked for luring, robbing man using gay dating app – cities | #bumble | #tinder | #pof | romancescams | #scams

PUNE A 34-year-old man was robbed of Rs81,000 by a man he met on a gay dating app, and three other men. The four people have been booked and the […] View full post on National Cyber Security

#childabductors | Police arrest man after alleged abduction of daughters in Cottage Grove – Twin Cities | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

A man hid in the back of his former girlfriend’s minivan, then suddenly popped up and assaulted her before abducting their young daughters in Cottage Grove on Friday, police said. […] View full post on National Cyber Security

#comptia | #ransomware | With cybercriminals on the attack, states help cities punch back

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

When the computers of the city of Lodi, Calif., got hit by a ransomware attack last April, the strike disabled phone lines, forced police officers to write reports by hand and prevented workers from sending out utility bills.

City officials refused to pay the ransom of 75 bitcoins — about $400,000 — and instead turned to their cyber insurance company, which sent in a legal team and security experts to investigate and help return the system to normal.

“It took a lot of our energy and ended up consuming a great deal of time,” recalled City Manager Steve Schwabauer. “We ultimately filed a claim of about $250,000, and it’s not fully closed yet.”

State legislators later gave Lodi, a city of about 67,000, a half-million-dollar grant to upgrade cybersecurity.

As cybercriminals increase their attacks against local governments — hundreds of municipalities and county agencies were hit in the last two years — some states are helping cities and counties better protect themselves. States have offered election cybersecurity, responses to ransomware attacks that take computer systems hostage, training and other programs, according to a recent report by the National Governors Assn. and the National Assn. of State Chief Information Officers.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Meredith Ward, the latter group’s policy and research director. “Cybersecurity is a team sport. States and local government and the private sector all have a role to play.”
But while 65% of states report that they provide some cybersecurity services to local governments, the scope varies widely. And other states aren’t doing anything to help, saying they don’t have jurisdiction over local governments or they lack money to spare.

“It’s very hard for most local governments,” said Alan Shark, executive director of the Public Technology Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that provides training and other support to local government information technology executives. “They lack the resources to adequately protect themselves. Yesterday’s fixes don’t work today. The cybercriminals are encouraged.”

But Shark said more states are starting to assist local governments in restoring their systems.

The states committed to collaboration are on the right track, the report by the governors’ and IT chiefs’ groups found.

Among them:

  • Illinois created a program that helps local election officials improve their cybersecurity readiness and conduct risk assessments. It hired IT specialists to help local election offices beef up their security.
  • Iowa is using a federal grant to offer counties cybersecurity vulnerability scanning and to pay for hardware and anti-malware tools. It also is piloting cyber projects with schools, cities and hospitals.
  • North Carolina developed a partnership with the state’s National Guard and emergency management division to help local governments, school systems and community colleges recover data compromised during a cyberattack and provide training to help prevent future incidents.
  • Pennsylvania partnered with the county commissioners’ statewide association to provide security awareness training and phishing exercises for all 150,000 county and state employees and contractors. Phishing victims unwittingly click on emailed links designed to get personal information, such as passwords.

“It’s about working outside your comfort zone and forging relationships,” said Erik Avakian, Pennsylvania’s chief information security officer. “We think this is really the path forward for all states. It’s something they should be looking at.”
Cybersecurity remains a serious issue for state governments, as sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals are constantly scanning computer networks looking for vulnerabilities. Those networks contain information such as Social Security numbers, birth certificates, bank account details and credit card numbers of millions of individuals and businesses.

But it’s especially hard for local governments. Just last month, for example, a small school district near Austin, Texas, with 9,600 students, disclosed that it had lost $2 million in a phishing email scam.

Local governments saw a spike in cyberattacks in 2019, and experts say it doesn’t look like they’re going to abate any time soon.

In the last 24 months, at least 370 cyber incidents affecting local governments and public safety agencies were publicly reported in 47 states, according to Aubrey Larson, a marketing manager at SecuLore Solutions, a Maryland-based cybersecurity company. That’s a 150% hike over the previous two-year period, she said.

In fact, the majority of publicized ransomware attacks in the United States last year targeted local governments, according to the report by the governors’ and state IT officers’ associations.

Ransomware hijacks government computer systems and holds them hostage until their victims pay a ransom or restore the system on their own.

In October, the FBI issued a public service announcement, saying state and local governments “have been particularly visible targets for ransomware attacks.” Those attacks can be devastating.

Democratic New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency in December after a ransomware attack hobbled the city. Officials had to shut down more than 4,000 computers and close municipal courthouses. The attack has cost the city at least $7 million.

Nearly two dozen Texas cities were targeted in a ransomware attack in August that led Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to order a “Level 2 Escalated Response,” which is just one level below the emergency management division’s highest alert. The state led the response and helped the cities restore their systems.

And Baltimore was hit by a ransomware attack in May that crippled thousands of computers and left workers unable to access online accounts and payment systems for weeks. City officials transferred $6 million from a parks and recreation fund to pay for cyber protections. In total, restorations and repairs cost $18 million.

Preventing and responding to attacks can be complicated when efforts involve jurisdictions that generally operate independently of one another.

“Some cyber incidents are truly becoming emergencies. [State and local IT officials] shouldn’t be exchanging business cards at that point,” said Maggie Brunner, cybersecurity program director for the national governors’ group. “They should be doing it ahead of time. We’d love to see state CIOs know every single local IT director.”

In Pennsylvania, IT security chief Avakian said his agency held quarterly meetings with county IT officials to build relationships and find out about their cybersecurity needs. “The fact that we’ve cracked this nut across jurisdictional boundaries is significant,” Avakian said.

Because of the collaboration, he said, the state was able to buy licenses for the phishing training exercise in bulk. The larger number of users lowered the cost per unit and saved the state and its 67 counties a considerable amount of money. He wouldn’t say how much.

“Now that we’ve done this, more people want to come onboard — school districts, cities,” Avakian said. “It’s kind of taken off.”

Michael Sage, chief information officer for the County Commissioners Assn. of Pennsylvania, called the cyber training and relationship the counties have developed with the commonwealth “a fantastic effort.”

“It has bolstered awareness and helped the counties understand where the threats are coming from, so they can stay vigilant,” Sage said. “The more we can collaborate and share, the better off we’re going to be.”

Bergal writes for stateline.org

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#school | #ransomware | What towns and cities must do to confront the ransomware epidemic | Opinion

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans By Diane Reynolds, Bradford Meisel, and Rick Gideon, Jr. America’s city and local governments are under attack from ransomware, which disables entire computer system networks until the victim pays a ransom in cryptocurrency, and the results have been catastrophic. On Dec. 13, New Orleans suffered a […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#comptia | #ransomware | Ransomware attacks several major cities worldwide in 2019 | Science/technology

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

This figure means an increase of at least 60 percent compared to last year. In 2019, ransomware aims at giant and influential organizations.

Although the demanded payment of each ransomware normally comes up to US$5 million, the real damage is much more than that. Therefore, these kinds of attacks are a thorny issue of businesses in all the world.

According to researchers, the infected organizations are usually not capable of paying a large sum of ransom, yet they tend to agree with other just as dangerous requests as temporarily blocking a certain service in a city.

This obviously create an adverse impact of social welfare of citizens there, further leading to even more negative effects on finance as well as other sensitive social matters.

By KIM THANH – Translated by Huong Vuong

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#comptia | #ransomware | Why Tier-II Cities In India Must Prepare To Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans While the issue of cyber threats is consistently on the rise, there is a general perception that only metro cities may be prone to cyber-attacks. But in fact, research has found time and again that it is the other way around. Multiple cities in India and […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

Computer #Hackers Are #Demanding #Money From #Cities, #States, And #Companies In The #U.S.

Computer hackers are getting more sophisticated. They are not afraid to hold cities, states, and companies’ hostage until they pay a ransom. Hackers are modern day tech pirates that disrupt computer programs and turn shareholders into anxiety-ridden puppets. Computer networks in Denver, Atlanta, and Baltimore, as well as a computer network of Boeing Airlines, are recent victims. Atlanta’s computers went down on March 22nd when a hacker locked important data behind an encrypted wall. The wall would stay in place, according to the hackers, until the city pays the hackers $51,000 in Bitcoins. Atlanta has a week to comply. If the city doesn’t pay, all that important data will vanish, according to the computer pirates. No one is sure if Atlanta paid the money, according to a Fox News report. But Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms didn’t rule out payment.

The hacking group calls itself “SamSam.” SamSam is not new to the hacking world. The group pocketed more than $800,000 in 2017. The city of Leeds, Atlanta paid SamSam $12,000 in February 2018 to release their data. But Atlanta is not the only city that SamSam has in its hacking sights this month. Officials in Baltimore said their 911 dispatch system was under attack. The system was down for 17 hours recently to prove the hackers were serious. The hackers were able to get into the system after the city made an internal change to their firewall. But the Baltimore hackers didn’t ask for money, and that is concerning, according to Frank Johnson, Baltimore’s chief information officer.

Boeing, the world’s top aerospace company, is also under attack by the now famous WannaCry ransomware. WannaCry is the same ransomware that crippled Britain’s healthcare services in 2017. The Boeing attack is not as serious as the attack in Britain, according to Boeing’s head of communications Linda Mills. Mills also said the 777 jet program was not part of the hack. Mills said only a few company machines were under attack.

Denver also had a suspicious outage when denvergov.org and pocketgov.org, as well as other online services, suddenly stopped in March. Some city staffers lost access to their email account. Denver officials claim the shutdown was the work of a computer bug, but Colorado’s Department of Transportation was a SamSam victim in February. The hackers said the information would come back to them if Colorado paid in Bitcoins, according to a news report by Denver7.

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The post Computer #Hackers Are #Demanding #Money From #Cities, #States, And #Companies In The #U.S. appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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Detroit area men arrested for credit card fraud in Fox Cities

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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Police have arrested four men from the Detroit area for credit card fraud in Northeast Wisconsin. The men are facing multiple charges, including Fraud Against a Financial Institution and Credit Card Forgery, according to the Appleton Police Department. On Oct. 26, Appleton Police received a report of suspicious credit card transactions at a local store. An employee told officers a group of men using multiple credit cards came in to buy gift cards.  The employee recognized that as suspicious behavior and took down a description of the suspects and a license plate number. Investigators found out the group had moved to the Green Bay area, where they had purchased more gift cards and a large amount of cigarettes. Green Bay police located the suspects, and Appleton investigators obtained a search warrant for their vehicle. Police say one of the suspects had a large number of gift cards and cigarettes. Another suspect admitted to buying stolen credit card information and a card reader with the intention of shopping the cards in the Fox Cities. Three of the suspects are from Ferndale, Michigan, and one of the suspects is from Detroit. The suspects are due in court at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Source: http://wbay.com/2015/10/27/detroit-area-men-arrested-for-credit-card-fraud-in-fox-cities/

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The ‘top cities for singles’ myth, debunked

But experts, Census data, and residents themselves in some of these “best” towns, say otherwise: For young people between the ages of 18 and 34, most major American cities now look pretty much the same. And the ones that are unique may have some unhelpful quirks. “It doesn’t make much difference” where millennials live in terms of their marriage prospects, Andrew Cherlin, director of Johns Hopkins’ sociology department, wrote in an email. Read More….

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