Spear Phishing and Equifax: Were You Affected?

Spear Phishing and Equifax: Were You Affected?

The Equifax breach has affected over 143 million Americans. Hoping I wasn’t one of them I looked into getting myself checked. First thing I see is the FTC’s subtle hint, “If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance” you were affected.

So what now? And what does this open us up to?

Spear Phishing

You’ve probably heard of “phishing” by now. It’s when a hacker disguises themselves as a trusted source in an attempt to acquire sensitive information. Nothing new here.

But have you heard of “spear phishing”? This is when a hacker poses as a colleague or a source specific to you or your business. It’s a message disguised as coming from a close friend, family member, or business partner.

Now Equifax isn’t the only hack to be concerned of. Last year the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported over 120,000 cyber-related crimes resulting in over $800 million lost. Spear Phishing attacks are designed to make victims feel safe and secure.

The key is the more the criminal learns about you the more trustworthy the attack will seem. They might even bait you for a while before making a reasonable request like following a link, supplying usernames or opening an attachment.

It Only Takes One

Targeting just one of your employees can put your entire business at risk and more often than not these attacks go unnoticed which make the losses greater in the long run.

So what can you do?

  • Never (EVER) send financial or personal information electronically. No matter how well you know the recipient. (I’m looking at you mom)
yea you
  • Watch out for impersonators. Be cautious when asked to divulge personal information through email.
  • If you want to make sure a website is secure it’s easy. See how every URL starts with “http:”? If the site has an “s” like “https:” then it’s secure. That’s what the “s” stands for.
  • Sharing information over the phone is another animal. Unless you initiated the call be very wary of sharing anything.
  • Don’t click on links or attachments from unknown sources. Now, I know most of us have learned this but it’s just a good reminder.
  • Ensure your home’s or company’s security software is up to date.
  • Social Media! They pull personal information through here and use it to better disguise themselves.
  • Keep a close eye on all your accounts and bank statements.

If you find you were or are attacked act quickly. Change all passwords and get your IT expert to pinpoint vulnerabilities to prevent future attacks.

They Got Me

I checked if my info was attacked in the breach. Turns out it was.

If you want to get yourself check out click here.

Here’s what you’ll see:

Click on “Am I Impacted?”

On the bright side, if there even is one, is that Equifax is now offering free protection. Glass half-full I guess.

If you have any more concerns regarding Cyber liabilities or protection contact our agent, Luis Gravier, at luis@cwiunderwriters.com