October 3, 2012

If you have an account at one of the major national banks and had difficulty logging in to your account last week, there is a good reason.  There was an organized attack known as DDOS upon several major banks, including Wells Fargo, HP Morgan Chase, U S Bank, Bank of America and Citigroup.  This particular attack was not after account information but was intended to be disruptive.  But it does have banks concerned.  Some group that calls itself "Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters" is claiming to have done this in retaliation for the film "Innocence of Muslims" which depicts the prophet Muhammad in a very negative way.  One statement debunks that by describing the attacks as very sophisticated and that the perpetrators had probably been planning and organizing this for months.  But whoever or whatever was behind it the attack was very disruptive to major players in the financial industry.  Fortunately that attack did not compromise any data from the banks but it raises some questions about what we can do to protect ourselves from attacks.  Here are 3 suggestions.  1 - Change your account password and change it every three months.  2 - Check your bank account online every day to spot suspicious activity.  3 - Make sure your computer has anti-virus software that is up to date and always turned on. 

Number 3 is vitally important.  Failure to keep your computer up to date opens the possibility of it being compromised and  your computer can be used as part of a zombie network and participate in a DDOS like the ones we had last week.  At Landmark we have a router with built in firewall and a service contract to keep it up to date.  We have a major anti-virus program updated at least daily and every computer is scanned twice per day.  If you need any more suggestions perform a Google search on "Computer Security" and you can find many articles and suggestions. 

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