You’ve been Hacked! Signs and Responses

You’ve been Hacked! Signs and Responses

In the past few weeks alone, topics of cybersecurity have swarmed the news as reports of cyber attacks are being discovered and publicly announced. For example, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, a US law firm, confirmed a security breach in their computer networks. And they weren’t the only law firm. Others reported security breaches in their video conferencing systems, where hackers could listen in to private meetings. Some have suggested that by targeting law firms, hackers are able to access confidential information, maybe even for the purpose of insider trading.

Cybercrime has no bounds. Large corporations like Target and General Motors, government agencies like the US Office of Personnel Management, and small companies like law firms are all victims of cyber attackers. With some attacks, the hackers are able to get into systems and access data for a long period before there is any suspicion of a security breach. Therefore, it’s important to note a few possible symptoms of a system hack and what can be done about it.

Signs That You’ve Been Hacked

Because you can be infiltrated by hackers long before you notice, it’s always best to assume there’s a security problem when you notice anything unusual about your system or device. Waiting until evidence piles up that you’ve been hacked, assume there’s a problem so you’re always on your guard.

Is your computer running slow or unreliably? We often think that slow performance is because we’ve been running too many programs, but sometimes it can be because of a hack. Is your computer unable to update or your antivirus fails to install? In these cases, malware or viruses can prevent updates from happening. Are you noticing a lot of unusual connections on your PC or server? If your network or computer is making regular access to web addresses or other connections, it could be a hacked connection that downloads information from your computer or server. Do random toolbars and pop-ups appear on your window browser? Or if there’s unusual programs listed in your computer’s program listings, it’s very likely that you’ve hacked. Those are just a few items that may show that you’ve been hacked and all of your information is compromised.

How to Respond to Being Hacked

Sometimes the first important step is to change your passwords. Make sure to change the passwords for every account. And be sure to use passwords that would be difficult for a hacker to discover. If you have an antivirus program on your computer, follow its instructions related to malware. Run a scan to detect any possible hacks. If you have a backup copy of your computer’s factory setting, save anything important stored on your computer and reset your computer to the factory settings. Doing so will restore the computer and remove anything that’s been downloaded or installed. However, if you don’t know how to do any of those things or you think the problem has gotten too out of hand, talk to professionals. Seek out an expert to help you clean up the malware and get your devices and systems the protection it needs.

Source: BBC News


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