As scams related to COVID-19 begin to rise, more and more businesses are finding themselves amidst a phishing scam. The United States Federal Trade Commission has reported that more than 17,000 complaints from US consumers have disclosed a total loss of US$13 million from COVID-19 scams, this is not to mention the many other scams that did not get reported. According to an article written by Welivesecurity, Scams related to online shopping and cancellation of travel has estimated to roughly over $5 million dollars in losses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into a massive scam epidemic with cybercriminals exploiting the mass public fear of the coronavirus. Scams have included selling non-existing facemasks, and false impersonation of health authorities. The FTC has compiled the data into an infographic which is updated regularly. The total fraud loss is currently at $13.13 million, with a reported median loss of US$568. They have also presented a webpage with tips for consumers to avoid coronavirus-related scams.
If you are worried that you or your company are not prepared to handle these types of scams and would like to verify if your company is at risk, OptfinITy can help. Feel free to contact us at (703)790-0400 or contact us at email@example.com for a FREE quotation.
The FBI issued a warning this week stating that trusted employees in several organizations are committing fraud and taking advantage of this pandemic by falsely claiming they have been tested positive for COVID19. The FBI has informed companies that it has received multiple reports of employees who are using fake doctor’s notes and other documents to falsely claim that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are asking employers to be cautious.
In one report, the FBI mentions an unnamed manufacturing company where an employee told his or her bosses that they have tested positive for Covid-19 which caused the company to shut down, cease production and disinfect the offices. The employer later learns that the document the employee brought in as evidence was fake after having already lost $175,000. Because of the intense nature of the COVID19- pandemic, any fake claims regarding testing positive for COVID19 is now considered a felony.
If you do not feel your business is ready to work remotely and are worried lack of productivity may cost you your business, optfinITy can help. We helped several diverse companies work remotely and we can help you too! Feel free to contact us at (703) 790-0400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Criminal Police Organization has announced that it has detected an increase in cyber-attacks against hospitals around the world that are connected to the COVID-19 response. Attacks that could “directly lead to deaths.”
As hospitals battle and save the lives of COVID-19 patients while also attempting to keep staff safe, it has been confirmed that another enemy is intent on exploiting stretched healthcare resources. That enemy is cyber-crime. INTERPOL has now issued a “purple notice” alert to law enforcement in all countries to support the global battle against cybercriminals who are attempting to lock nurses and doctors out of critical systems in order to extort money from them. As the proverb goes, there is no honor among thieves.
A recent report states that “locking hospitals out of their critical systems will not only delay the swift medical response required during these unprecedented times, it could directly lead to deaths.”
As massive amounts of people begin working from home during the COVID-19 crises, Zoom videoconference, along with many other video-conferencing applications, has been booming.
What people may not be aware of, however, is that Zoom users might need to be concerned about the app’s privacy and security. Some of the concerns with the application include that people in your meeting might be able to read your private messages if the host chooses to record a zoom meeting to the cloud.
If you are unsure about which video conferencing app is right for you or are looking for secure ways to telework, we are here to help. Contact us at (703)790-0400 or email@example.com to discuss your concerns.
As you have seen in our previous postings, a cybercriminal will attempt to use any type of flaw which exists. One of the more recent ones is the KrØØk vulnerability, also known as CVE-2019-15126. This vulnerability can be found in a specific Cypress and Broadcom Wi-Fi chipset which can be found in millions of smartphones, tablets, laptops, Wi-Fi- access points and routers.
While this isn’t good news, the one benefit is that the KrØØk flaw needs to be in close proximity with the Wireless connection in order to decrypt and steal sensitive data from your devices. The only solution is to make sure that your wireless devices are running on the latest updates and have security patches. If you are not sure if you or your organization is capable of handling vulnerable security flaws, contact OptfinITy at (703)790-0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help!
OptfinITy is proud to announce that our CEO, Michael Drobnis, has been selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) Program. The program offers continuing business education through Babson College, a network of executive mentors, and access to capital through “mission-driven small business lenders.”
“I am a lifelong learner and understand the importance of networking and learning from others,” says Drobnis. Although his background includes an MBA, and various certifications, Drobnis says the 10KSB opportunity offers something his previous achievements couldn’t.
“All of this education was undertaken before I became CEO of OptfinITy and when you are the owner of a company, you are concerned about the business from different angles, so participating in the 10KSB program is perfect for me to learn more as a business owner.”
Of the 9,000 small businesses that have entered the program so far, more than two-thirds saw an increase in revenue within six months of joining the program, and nearly 80 percent reported revenue growth after 30 months. That’s compared to a national average of 47 percent among U.S. businesses.
The Coronavirus panic has spread nation-wide and it did not take cyber criminals long to attempt to cash in on it. A report released on Thursday has stated that certain websites claiming to introduce news of the virus, are malicious websites and are sending out mass scams and emails attempting to monetize from this pandemic.
Director of operation of Recorded Future, Lindsay Kaye, has specifically called out these domains publicly as possibly dangerous:
- COVID19 Tracker [app]
Since the panic of the pandemic has left people frantically searching for information regarding the state of the outbreak, also watch out for another app called “COVID19 Tracker” which has been masking itself as an outbreak map tracker, when in reality it is ransomware that locks down your phone completely and demands you pay $100 in bitcoin in 48 hours or lose all your digital data.
If you are confused on which websites to trust and how to avoid hacking or ransomware, OptfinITy can help keep your data safe. Give us a call at 703-790-0400 or email us at email@example.com
With the recent declaration by WHO (World Health Organization) we are now dealing with a pandemic, and it is important to consider the following items when preparing for teleworking:
• Making sure the employee has the proper direct communication tools (cell phone, work phone or app to access the phone system)
• Making sure the employees can access their information securely (using VPN, remote desktop applications)
• Making sure the employee has a computer or remote computer access
• Making sure that the employee has the ability to collaborate and communication with their staff (Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Slack)
• Making sure that the employee stays on task and on-track (Rescue time, Focus Time, etc.)
While many organizations have access to tools already if they use Google’s G-Suite or Office-365, there are other applications out there who are making their products available if needed. For more information on those types of apps, see the following link: https://optfinity.com/web-video-conferencing-applications-benefiting-coronavirus-outbreak/
Should your organization need assistance with teleworking or other remote access policies, please give OptfinITy a call and we will be glad to work with you.
Security researchers are now warning Android phone users about a malware strain that can withdraw and obtain one-time passcodes by extracting it from the Google Authenticator app. The Google Authenticator app is a two-factor authentication security layer that creates a 6 to 8 digits long code to enter on various online accounts. The Android malware, Cerberus, has an OTP-stealing capability that steals 2FA codes from Google Authenticator.
When the app is running, the Trojan collects the content of the interface and sends it to the command-and-control server. A feature called RATs on the trojan allows the trojan to bypass the Authenticator, giving access to all types of private accounts including email inboxes, social media accounts, and coding repositories.
If you or your business have any concerns about keeping your systems secure, feel free to call OptfinITy at 703-790-0400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter just requested that all 5,000 of their employees work from home because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. However, Twitter does not stand alone in this decision. Companies all over the world are now asking their employees to work from home – a request that was once considered a privilege is now a necessity. Fortunately, web-conferencing and video-conferencing applications are using this epidemic to their advantage and offering their services for free for a limited time during this pandemic.
Cisco’s WebEx, for example, has reported that that traffic from china has increased 22 times more since the outbreak, and four to five times as many users in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. Free signup rates for countries with infections increased by 700% and climbing.
Video and web conference applications currently offering services and special deals in response to the Coronavirus are Cisco WebEx, Google Hangouts Meet, LogMeIn GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and zoom. Luckily, OptfinITy provides IT services to many of our remote clients. If you or your organization have any questions regarding the services we provide, don’t hesitate to reach us a call at 703-790-0400 or email us at email@example.com