CBS 58 Investigates: Cyber Attacks
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Cybercrimes are at an all-time high and increasing every year, according to the FBI's Cyber Division.
"Cyberattacks are definitely not on the decline, they're constantly evolving...as long as the internet is in existence," said Amanda Knutson, FBI Cyber Squad Supervisory Special Agent.
Anyone using the internet is a target, but businesses are at a greater risk. The biggest threats are ransomware and email fraud.
"Because they're gonna have the funds to pay the ransom or to send a 100-thousand dollar wire transfer," Knutson said.
In fact, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a total of 467,361 complaints in 2019, with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion.
In Wisconsin, $21-million were reported in losses.
"Generally that money ends up outside the United States, into a bank outside the United States."
Recently, both the cities of Racine and Oshkosh were hit with ransomware. It even happened to VCPI, an IT company based in Milwaukee that supports nursing homes across the country.
"Even though they work with IT, they have cyber security services, sometimes one single mistake leads to a big breach," said Alex Holden, chief information security officer of Hold Security, LLC.
Local cyber security experts say the impact is not only costly, it can be devastating.
"The reputational damage and the impact to the company in some cases, we see it devastating enough for companies to close their doors," Hold said.
So what can you do as an individual or business owner to protect yourself from a cyberattack?
- Experts say be prepared -- have some kind of virus protection
- Use unique passwords
- Implement updates and install backups not connected to the network, should you have to restore the system
- Before you click on a link, make sure it’s from a trusted source
- Make sure all electronic gadgets, such as surveillance cameras, smart watches, anything that connects to the internet, has some kind of security setting
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