Digital kidnappings increase on holidays and weekends, FBI alert

US security agencies such as the FBI and CISA are urging organizations and companies not to let their defenses against ransomware, that is, digital hijackings, go unnoticed over weekends or holidays, in a joint cybersecurity statement.

The two agencies, in the statement, say they see a huge increase in digital hijackings during weekends and holidays. This is because the offices are closed during these periods and their security measures are not the best, which makes the numbers of cybercrime soar.

While neither the FBI nor CISA has information of future attacks, the statement illustrates and reinforces the demand for security attention using as an example the attacks that occurred at Colonial Pipeline, the main US pipeline company. The attack, which took place just before Mother’s Day, meant that the company had to pay more than R$20 million, at the current price, in order to regain control of its network. While the attack was taking place, certain areas of the US were even without access to fuel. Part of the ransom has already been recovered by the company in action with the Department of Justice, which managed to confiscate a wallet of cryptocurrencies from the criminal group responsible for the attack.

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It is important to emphasize that it is not only in the US that cyber attacks can be more frequent on holidays or in atypical situations. Here in Brazil, data released by Check Point Software Technologies show that since the beginning of 2021, digital hijackings in the country have increased by 92%, largely due to the home office resulting from the pandemic.

With the September 7 holiday approaching, it’s good for companies to prepare their security, as in addition to the home office, they will still have to deal with the vast majority of employees being offline for the day, which can be a perfect match for cyber attacks.

FBI and CISA Tips

Image: Playback/Bleeping Computer

In the communiqué issued by Organs American agencies, some tips were presented to increase security. We present them below:

Backup your data offline; Avoid clicking on suspicious links; Update the operating system and software whenever possible; Use strong passwords; Make use of multi-factor authentication.

Source: Bleeping Computer

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