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From Hartfordhelp.com - January 26, 2017

A Vermont power company discovered malware on one of its laptops that has been identified as coming from the Russian group "Grizzly Steppe." A Vermont public service representative stated the laptop was not connected to the power grid, and that the grid was never accessed by the cybercriminals.

Since the Russian hacker's breach into emails of the Democratic National Committee, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with the FBI, has been busy evaluating Russian attacks on other organizations. As part of their report, they released a section of the malicious code found on the laptop, telling others to watch out for such code on their systems. Adam Westlake "Russian-linked malware found on electrical company computer," www.slashgear.com (Dec. 31, 2016).


Commentary

The start of a new year is a good time to review with employees the most common ways a computer can become infected with malware.

One common method of infection is carelessly accepting a pop-up window that claims the user must download a plug-in or other program. Users should always carefully read window prompts before accepting them…and, if in doubt, don’t download anything.

Remember, it is important to download only from trusted sources from which you are expecting an item to download.

During any download, carefully read all prompts to know exactly what the software is installing. Employers who allow employees to download software themselves, should educate them on suspicious processes.

Malware infection via an email attachment continues to be a concern. Users should never open an attachment or Internet link in an email that was not expected, even if the email is from a friend or coworker.

Always be cautious when connecting outside drives. An infected thumb drive, or any drive for that matter, inserted into a computer is another common malware delivery method. Anything connected to your computer that can be written on has the potential to pass on malicious code.

Finally, failing to run antivirus scanners and installing program updates leaves a system open to infection. Many software updates are security-related and are a critical element in preventing malware.

Do you need help managing the cyber security of your business? Let DDM review your risk program to make sure you're covered.

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