Hackers finding new ways to steal information - WNEM TV 5


Hackers finding new ways to steal information

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The digital age allows us to save and share immense amounts of information but it also means that information could be stolen at any moment.

Hackers could be lurking inside your company, your office or even a vending machine, without you even knowing it.

They can come in through your air conditioning unit or the thermostat. Once they're in, they can attain information about your business.

Technology is taking over.  Look at the billing system. Everything from vending machines that take credit cards to cell phones that connect and control other devices. All these items are provided by third-party companies. And all of these items are tempting new targets of hackers.

"The problem most people have is that they have them on the same network. It's not isolated from, let's say your HR data base. Why would your air conditioning ever want to be on the same network and talk to your HR data base? That doesn't need to happen. And a lot of it companies don't think of that. They don't think this could be a potential threat," says Ian Lee, IT director for Zimco." Anything is possible. People are becoming a lot smarter and a lot more creative to infiltrate our system so you check the menu of your favorite Chinese restaurant on their website. And they've infected that webpage. So something as simple as checking out your lunch menu could download a virus and you're inhibited to the network."

Think of it as giving someone the spare key to the door that locks all your private information.

TV5 called Scott Bailey, a hacking expert who has spoken about third party hackers. The I-TEAM found out this is not just a hypothetical situation. In fact, nearly a quarter of all security breaches last year were from third-party hackers.

"We deal with it all the time. Just last week we had a situation where someone came in through the security cameras," says Scott Bailey, Director of Digital Forensics.

What should you do if you run your own business? Here's how to protect yourself.  

  • 1. Be conscious of what devices you have connected on a network.
  • 2. Get to know the vendor and their intentions.
  • 3. Know the security measures of each vendor.
  • 4. Try to use your own software. Programs like Quickbooks are easier to break into.

Now, if you do get hacked, don't expect to find the culprit. Experts say finding the source of a security breach from a 3rd party hacker is like finding a needle in a haystack.

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