FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.(KNWA) – – Hackers stole software from the National Security Agency on Friday, which resulted in a worldwide cyber attack that affected 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries.
Many are still fighting the fallout of the attack.
We look into how cyber security is changing, and what you need to do to protect yourself.
“So what happened on Friday is we saw a new strain of malicious software hit the internet,”Don Faulkner, Chief Information Security Officer for the University of Arkansas said.
It’s an attack that’s wreaked havoc on tens of thousands of computers all around the world.
“There’s a variety of different kinds of malicious software. the particular kind that’s going on right now is designed to encrypt or scramble the files on your computer and essentially hold them for ransom,” Faulkner said.
Businesses in the U.S. have been affected by the hacking and some even chose to pay the ransom, according to Faulkner.
“The risk is real, the other side of it is, you encourage more activity by paying, so the best choice is to not have to pay,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner says a lot of what people do in this world now is connected to the internet, and we unintentionally put a lot of information out that allows people to be victimized.
So how do you protect yourself when hacking software and its users are getting better everyday?
Faulkner said It affects everybody and everyone needs to be prepared to defend themselves.
“Do you have a strong password on all of your accounts? D o you keep your computer up to date with patches and the latest software?That’s a big deal, the fact that not all computer systems are patched and up to date is the reason for the outbreak that we saw over the weekend,” Faulkner said.
It’s not just your personal computers you have to worry about, you may need to adjust your shopping preferences too.
“The advantage big business is they can hire large teams of people to defend their computer systems, if you’re a small business owner.. you don’t have that,” Faulkner said.