How to protect yourself from cyberattacks after New Haven's email security breach
Recent cyberattacks are hitting close to home.
The City of New Haven and hospitals across Connecticut, including Waterbury Hospital, have been compromised by different kinds of hacking.
“It’s not that surprising,” Quinnipiac University cybersecurity program director Dr. Frederick Scholl said. “It’s always disturbing when it’s close to home.”
Connecticut’s second-largest city lost $6 million after hackers impersonated its COO of public schools and made payments.
“This is a pretty elaborate scheme,” Scholl said. “They need to have access to the payee bank accounts, they need to set up fake bank accounts, they need to set up plans for money laundering.”
Prospect Medical owns Waterbury Health and Eastern Connecticut Health Network. Their system remains down from a ransomware attack, forcing daily updates from hospitals about which services they can’t provide.
“Imagine going to your doctor and they can't see your medical record on the computer,” Scholl said. “You're not going to get health care.”
According to Scholl, your information is just a click away from falling into the wrong hands.
“We should assume that a lot of our information is stolen,” Scholl said. “These records go out into the dark web, and they're sitting there. People can buy them and use them for other purposes.”
Scholl says the criminals are hard to catch because dozens of people around the world can be involved in just one attack.
How do you stay safe?
Cyber insurance can cover ransomware expenses for individuals and businesses.
Scholl also advises a return to paper records, and involving multiple people when doing large money transfers.
Ultimately, a little discretion goes a long way.
“The FBI does a great job, but there's not enough agents to do this either,” Scholl said. “Unfortunately it's up to everybody to verify, then trust.”
The FBI is investigating both Connecticut attacks.
New Haven officials say the city has recovered $3.6 million of its lost funds.