Cyber Security Threats: Community leaders organize meeting on safety measures

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Photo: Virtual alertness meet on cyber threats

Phishing attacks are on the rise more than ever as attackers attempt to trick individuals

Our Bureau
New York

Nilima Madan and Jyoti Gupta acted immediately in organizing a virtual alertness ‘Cyber Security Threat’ Zoom meeting for the community leaders of New Yorkas soon as Dr Neeru Bhambri shared her story of how her WhatsApp was hacked into and how she was totally handicapped for several days until it started back allowing her to add security pin and a verification email to secure her account – not to mention the hardship she faced to accomplish that. No sooner many other leading individuals were affected the same as possibly somewhere, somehow names and numbers were captured.

Slides of screen shots containing links, friendly chat messages, misleading and impersonating calls to family members that are uncovered once your phone is hacked through previous messages, group chats, shared photos etc. are all part of the hacker network game and very deceptively they contact someone close enough to you who will immediately transfer funds for emergency situations posed by the imposter acting as the hacked individual or victim. The time lines, language and modus operandi used even though partially of fully known as general awareness to many become a victim by taking genuine people and family members to act in a crunch time so that without too much investigating, they get victimized and the financial or other losses are irreparable – with little or no recourse to trace the miscreants.

Personal experience stories shared on this call by actual victims of such scams served to alert and were all too scary as to how vulnerable the best of us is to scammers and hackers. Con artists are daft!

Most shared in detail how and what time in the night or early am they were contacted, what type of messages they received, how voices were impersonated and if the caller was questioned, the voice would muffle or fade or the caller gave misinformation. How much money was asked for and how many lost funds through immediate ‘fund needs in crisis’ type of situations created by imposters was mind boggling specially as to the extent to which these hackers push one to act impulsively under duress.

This call was also to ensure that people put in place all possible security measures and ‘don’t talk to strangers’, just like we teach our young children. The possibility of breach of PII – personally identifiable information and its misuse can cripple your daily life and cause panic, fear and loss of valuable information and family funds.

There are countless new threats being developed daily.

Over the years, we have been cautious of many different kinds of computer or electronic item malware that have been created, each one affecting our systems in different ways like – Ransomware – Trojans – Worms – Hidden backdoors etc. where hackers and attackers exploit the use of certain web browsers like Safari and others with tendencies to automatically run trusted scripts.

Phishing attacks are on the rise more than ever where the attacker attempts to trick an individualwho becomes the victim into giving away sensitive data and account credentials. Hackers and predator access through the Internet – your email, bank account, WhatsApp, cell phone and your PC, all of which is a tremendous threat to your security.One can never be too careful about all sensitive personal information and damage that can ensue due to wrong hands getting hold of your Social Security number, bank account information, credit cards, check book, driver’s license, Medicare card, passport and so much more. Stay alert and be extremely careful is the bottom line.

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