Thousands of South Carolina Residents & Businesses Have Been Affected By the Wave of Cyber Crimes
Cyber crimes have been around since the creation of the internet. They have never gone away but simply evolved, causing irrefutable damage to businesses, families, and individuals. It is important to be vigilant when on the internet to protect your information from cyber criminals.
According to an FBI report, in 2022 South Carolina residents reported a loss of over $100 million dollars in cyber crime related incidents. Most claimed to be affected by personal data breaches, false tech support calls, and extortion claims. It was found that those over 60 years old were the most likely victims of cyber crimes.
What is Considered a Cyber Crime in South Carolina?
According to the South Carolina Code of Laws 16-16-10, et Seq.: Computer Crime Act a cyber crime is:
“Directly or indirectly accessing or causing to be accessed a computer, computer system, or computer network for the purpose of:
I: devising or executing a scheme or artifice to defraud;
Ii. obtaining money, property, or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises; or
Iii. committing any other crime.
Altering, damaging, destroying, or modifying a computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, computer program, or data contained in that computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network or introduce a computer contaminant into that computer, computer system, computer program, or computer network.”
What Happens With Stolen Data
One can never be too vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal data, however there is always a chance of being a victim of an attack even if you seemingly took all the proper preventative measures.
The FBI in accordance with the Justice Department announced on April 5th, 2023 that a coordinated international operation against the Genesis Market had taken place. The Genesis Market was a sophisticated cyber crime marketplace on the dark net that sold packages of account access credentials.
This includes login information for emails, bank accounts, and social media. The information was stolen from malware-infected computers around the world and is believed to have affected at least 1.5 million computers containing over 80 million account access credentials.
Genesis Market offered its users access to stolen data from all over the world. Law Enforcement Agents from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Canada, Germany, Poland, and Sweden have conducted over 200 searches globally, arrested over 120 people, and seized eleven domain names used to support Genesis Market’s infrastructure.
If you have been active on Genesis Market, in contact with Genesis Market administrators, or have been a victim and need to report, please email the FBI at FBIMW-Genesis@fbi.gov.
To Protect Your Information Online, Here Are a Few Steps You Can Take Now:
A strong password is recommended to be over fifteen characters, including a capitalized letter, and a fix of symbols. It should not be something someone could easily guess and is recommended to not use the same password for all of your accounts.
Multi Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication, also referred to as Two-Factor Authentication, provides a secondary layer of security to your information and passwords. Multi Factor authentication uses information that is unique to the user and has three main types:
- Things you know (knowledge)
- Ex: password, pin numbers, and answers to personal security questions
- Things you have (possession)
- Ex: badges, text messages, one time passwords generated through an app or can be sent via text or email, and software tokens and certificates
- Things you are (inherence)
- Ex: fingerprint, face id, voice recognition, and retina or iris scanning
Many software updates are used to fix bugs or gaps in the security of the network. It is best to update your software as soon as possible to prevent cyber attacks on your information. To make sure you always have the most up to date software on your device you can turn on automatic updating. This will ensure your device is harder to “hack” into and will keep your information.
Be Cautious of Phishing Scams
One of the most common ways that people fall victim to cyber crimes are phishing attacks. Phishing is a form of fraud where the attacker presents themselves as a reputable entity or person over a digital form of communication in an attempt to get personal data from you.
The attacker will use publicly available information to gather background information about the victim. This information can include their interests, work history, and information available on social media.
Once they have this information they will normally send out an email or text with a link that will lead to a site where you can input your login information allowing your data to be stolen.
To prevent being a victim of a phishing message looking for brand identifiers in the message such as the logo, domain, or email. If it is supposed to be from a big company but the email is XXXXXX@gmail.com that is a red flag. Other red flags include misspellings, message as an unusual sense or urgency, is poorly written, or contains a request to verify personal information.
It is always important to stay vigilant about your data protection when online but accidents and attacks do happen. If you believe you have been a victim of a cyber crime attack, whether you are a business or individual, please contact our investigation firm today.
We are licensed in Georgia and South Carolina.