Ransomware Dents City Budgets

The extortion emails have resumed landing in my spam folder. They'd stopped for a while.

Maybe they figured out I'm just another starving artist and don't have any bucks to spare?

(Remember all those starving artist sales of oil paintings from the 1990's?)

I was reading my Vipre newsletter last night. Vipre is my preferred anti-virus, malware, etc. software because it doesn't bog my computer down the way the other popular software products always did.

Anyway, I was reading about the ransomware attack that have hit Baltimore some months after Atlanta was similarly attacked. These attacks are costing cities millions and millions of dollars.

That's money that won't be available to hire new police and firemen and municipal workers. Money that won't be there to fund raises, pay for schools, streets, utilities, and so much more.

Agh! Phishing
Internet #1862312_1920 by Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

The truly wrenching fact is authorities think the attack didn't come from hacking so much as it came from good old-fashioned phishing.

The phishers duped some unsuspecting email user, probably on a city server into clicking an unsafe link or revealing information that seemed innocuous.

Never click a link in an email unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the email came from someone you know. If in doubt, text or call the person and ask if they sent it to you. Never give out any personal information or passwords in an email or over a phone call which you did not initiate.

By the way, if you don't have a piece of tape or paper over your webcam when you're not using it, you're opening a doorway someone may peep through. I've kept mine covered ever since I set up my laptop.

In the Vipre Newsletter, a small article said Facebook's Zuckerberg and former FBI Director James Comey have one thing in common besides testifying before Congress. They each cover their webcams with pieces of tape.

Takeaway Truth

 No one will ever email or call you and ask you to verify your user account, password, or identifying information. If you get a call or email like that, call the bank or company and ask.

Like they said in WWII. "Loose lips sink ships."

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