Local Cyber Security Expert: “The internet is under attack”

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  In light of recent online attacks from Russia, and on the DNC, cyber experts are weighing in, saying the internet is under attack.

Some say a hack called “spear phishing” is damaging the foundation of the democratic system, and the attacks are only getting more frequent.

Cyber Expert Arun Vishwanath says, the attacks are becoming more sophisticated and more frequent. He said, “What started as North Korea now we have the Russians’ interfering with democracy.”

He said seconds can dictate what happens when it comes to a spear phishing cyber attack.  He said, “So what used to be hackers, run of the mill hackers, now we have state sponsored hackers, we have terrorist groups from all over the world, and because we have email all over the world anybody can do this.”

And even Netflix recently was involved in a scam. It’s become the latest weapon and you, the next potential victim. Vishwanath said, “It is very easy to fall victim to if you don’t have good cyber hygiene.”

There’s no data to help experts find out how often they’re happening. but the hackers will hold you ransom through your hard-drive. He said, “The new class of attacks that started the last couple of years doesn’t have a need for you to respond. It usually has an attachment in it, a PDF or word document. If you open the document it injects malware into your computer.”

And it just takes one person and one click to do so much damage. It’s something that can destroy companies, hospitals and thieves can steal your personal information in seconds.

Vishwanath said, “A lot of this has gotten more sophisticated, but people have also gotten more lax. And it’s not our fault because technology makes it easier for us to not pay attention.”

There’s no easy solution with such a wide and fragile internet system. But you can start with keeping your personal online identity safe through what’s called: Two factor authentication.

Vishwanath said, “Anyone of us who uses Apple devices for instance, has this thing where you log into one device, you have to authenticate on another device.”

To learn more from Vishwanath and his advice on cyber hygiene, you can find a link to his article on CNN here.

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