Posted: 5/14/2018

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A cyber attack that occurred on March 13, 2018, between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. is believed to have infected more than two thousand computers and electronic devices. The threat prompted California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the Department of Justice, to issue an alert and contact several California companies, asking that they warn their customers that they may be affected.

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A cyber attack that occurred on March 13, 2018, between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. is believed to have infected more than two thousand computers and electronic devices. The threat prompted California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and the Department of Justice, to issue an alert and contact several California companies, asking that they warn their customers that they may be affected.

 In a letter to businesses identified to have been affected by the attack, the companies are provided with a list of customer Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that may have received malware due to the threat. The companies are urged to contact those customers to inform them that their device may contain malware in an effort to reduce exposure to the malware and stop the threat.

Malware is dangerous. It allows hackers to take over and control devices. Through the device, the hacker can steal data, place ransomware on computers, turn on cameras and microphones, send spam, or use the device to store data. Oftentimes the malware’s activity is undetected by the user and the device continues to participate in the malicious activity.

If your company receives a letter warning of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, make sure you contact and inform your customers immediately. In addition, contact a qualified and certified technician to assist in handling destructive malware. Removing spyware and/or a computer virus can be difficult. Some malicious software can reinstall itself after it’s removed. Here are a few security tips for businesses:

  • Reduce external exposure.
  • Keep systems updated on system/security patches, anti-malware and virus protection.
  • Train users regarding how to properly utilize their email, web, and other resources safely and in a secure manner.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Have a response and recovery plan in place if cyber attacks, security breaches, or other issues arise.
  • Use encryption on your wireless network.

Customers should pay attention to warnings from providers regarding malware and other malicious attacks. If you need technical support, do your research before paying anyone to repair your device. If you receive a call out of the blue claiming your device is compromised, hang up. These calls are usually a scam. Instead, look on the package of your software for the company’s contact information, on your receipt, or by searching online on the company’s official website. You can find many tips on security breaches and risks on Business Consumer Alliance’s website.

Related Article:

Security Tips for Choosing a Web Hosting Company

About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

Tags: malware, security breach

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The Consumer Ally program is free for consumers to join. At BCA, we feel it's very important to educate the public on trends like scams, new laws and providing helpful tips to empower the public in making wise purchasing decisions. This program is an elite community of consumers who share our vision for a safe marketplace. We can't be everywhere at once so we depend on feedback from the public to help our efforts.

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