Cybersecurity expert explains what happens during ransomware attacks

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:33 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly more common, especially with more people working from home with less-than-secure systems.

Cybersecurity expert Eric Hart says identity theft is the primary concern for people right now.

During a ransomware attack, a hacker gets into your data and encrypts it, or locks it up, so you can’t get to it or see it. Then, they demand payment to get all your information back, and if the information isn’t backed up, you’re in a tight spot.

The hacker usually gets in through an email or text message that looks legitimate but infects the system with a virus.

“Increasingly you don’t have to be that smart to do it. And it’s quite specialized. You have people who are paid to find the vulnerabilities and others who exploit the vulnerabilities, others who negotiate the vulnerabilities, and so there really is a division of labor. It’s really become more sophisticated on the one hand and easier to get into on the other,” said Hart.

Hart says one of the best things you can do to protect your data is two-factor authentication; don’t just rely on a username and password. And use different passwords for different accounts.

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