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HOME OFFICE HACKERS: COVID-19 quarantines present opportunity for data thieves

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Ransomware is back, one more thing to worry about
Posted at 10:56 AM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 13:56:37-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Across the United States millions of Americans are under stay at home directives, and that means a lot of people are working from home and in turn, processing and sending sensitive data which is a prime opportunity for data thieves.

"It is almost an open invitation for people to give you a shot and you don't know who you are dealing with," said Jon Wolfe, CEO of Axiom Cyber Solutions, a Las Vegas based technology.

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Wolfe says hackers are using ransomware to infect devices.

"It's not just about getting information anymore," explained Wolfe. "It's about holding your personal information hostage and getting paid for it in real time."

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Hackers are using COVID-19 as their way in by sending virus related phishing emails, which look legitimate from the government, banks, or other institutions with external links, according to Wolfe.

Once the link is clicked, the hackers have access to hold your information or device hostage.

"It's very effective and it's just running rampant," said Wolfe.

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"They have really upped their efforts since the coronavirus thing happened," he added.

David Flores is a Las Vegas based CEO who manages business development services for companies.

Flores is working from home and oversees 11 employees in two states.

Now more than ever, cyber security for his business is crucial.

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"I do work with several public companies, so there is information that goes back-and-forth," said Flores. "But obviously that should not be out in the public, so it is information that needs to be kept between my company and other companies."

Wolf says layers of security within your home's internet router settings can be easily sidestepped if you unknowingly give away information.

He suggests changing the network name from the factory setting to something unique to you, but does not contain details that could be traced back to you such as names, addresses, or important numbers.

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Passwords should also be changed from factory settings to something complex which contain a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters.

Wolfe says as a result of the coronavirus, many people, businesses and organizations are using video chat programs such as FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom to communicate.

But even video conferencing programs have been hacked.

According to published reports, Zoom meetings have been hacked with pornography.

Wolfe suggests downloading, updating and installing all security patches for computers and all devices which are connected to the internet right away.

There are also devices which as a fire wall between the internet and your router which can be purchased as an additional layer of protection, such as one sold by Axiom Cyber Solutions, according to Wolfe.

Wolfe says you can follow these additional tips to help keep computers, devices and data more secure.

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