Contact 2: Hackers target people working from home

Contact 2

ST. LOUIS – For many people, the home office has become their only workspace during the pandemic. If you’re one of those people, there’s a good chance it happened fast and with little warning.

“A lot of people were sent out of the office with no training at all. They said, ‘Go home.’ So, they don’t know anything about nothing. That’s a big security risk,” said Scott Schaffer, a cybersecurity expert with Blade Technologies.

Schaffer says more people working from home has created a larger opportunity for hackers to attack.

“We’re looking at about 100 percent of them started with a social engineering attack. Like a phishing email. It has a link in there. You click it, you give up your credentials. That’s how it starts,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer says it’s not just big companies being targeted. His advice is simple: be careful where you click.

“Small to medium businesses are just getting rocked. There’s more bad guys out there,” he said. “The bad guys can send out a million emails. It only takes one person to click on it to return their investment. Don’t be the clicker.”

And don’t think your safe when you log off your computer for the night. Schaffer warns of a new, likely unexpected vulnerability in your home.

“Who thought lightbulbs would ever be a cybersecurity risk?” Schaffer said.

The Phillips Hue Smart lights to be exact.

“A hacker can get into it and they can make it flash and do crazy stuff, so you think it’s failing and reboot it. That’s the worst possible thing you can do,” Schaffer said. “Then it gets into the firmware, which is the software that runs the hardware, and then it can pass from there to your network and then on to the business network.”

For business owners large and small, Schaffer recommends developing a cybersecurity plan and training your employees on what to look for. For all of us, if an email looks suspicious, don’t click it. Don’t be afraid to contact whoever supposedly sent it to see if it’s legit.

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