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New scam is targeting work from home employees

10/09/2020

Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott wants you to be aware of a new ransomware scam that has become active since the pandemic started. More Wagoner County citizens are now working from home resulting in a perfect storm when it comes to scams. The COVID disaster combined with the economic disaster gives hackers an opportunity to pounce. No matter what kind of device you use to work from home, ensure you have antivirus software installed. If installed correctly you should get warnings against risky websites and dangerous downloads.
 
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts critical data on a computer or computer network so that users cannot regain access without paying a ransom. Even if you deliver payment, it does not even guarantee safety. Once a hacker is in possession of targeted data, it can be sold on the dark web, used to commit other crimes, or released to the public.
 
Antivirus organizations confirm that the end goal of these new ransomware attacks is to cripple the victim's IT infrastructure by encrypting most of their computers and servers in order to demand a multimillion-dollar ransom. The newest hackers are so sneaky, they identify employees who are using hard-to-hack cybersecurity tools like VPNs. Then they wait for them to log off the VPN, targeting non-work Internet traffic to install ransomware. Because many work-from-home employees are using the same computer for work and everyday tasks, networks are infected. A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
 
If you work from home during this pandemic protect yourself and your company from the devastation of a ransomware attack before the worst-case scenario happens. Ensure you have active anti-virus software running to prevent any scamming attempts. If possible, use your work computer for work purposes and personal devices for personal use. Staying diligent will help protect your electronic devices and your hard-earned money.
 
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