BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Yesterday, U.S. prosecutors announced the arrest of seven suspects involved in a coordinated cyber attack. The suspects are accused of stealing $45 million from banks using ATMs across the world.
This is not the first cyber theft incident that has happened, and with technology constantly growing, it certainly won't be the last. And to stop cyber attacks like this one, first you need to know how to be a hacker.
For cyber security analysts like Sam Gaudet, who works to prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information from the University of Maine systems, knowing the way that hackers and scammers think is the only way to defend against them.
"You really have to understand hacking and the sub-culture and the tools and techniques that hackers use," said Gaudet. "And then on top of that, you have to practice and sort of live the hacker tools and sub-culture, such that you can really understand your enemy."
And the enemy is everywhere. They are in your computer, your cell phone and in ATMs, and once they get access to a system, they often pass that information on.
The need for qualified workers with skills like cyber defense is high in our state, and Maine educators have noticed. Some are getting kids interested in cyber security at a young age. John Bapst High School recently participated in the Carnegie Mellon High School Hacking Competition, sponsored by groups like Microsoft and the NSA. Students used their computer and problem solving skills to hack in to a fake robot.
Computer specialists like Sam Gaudet say Mainers should not be scared to use technology, they should just be cautious. Some tips to protect against losing your personal information to hackers are as follows:
First, pick strong passwords. One trick is to use a phrase as your password rather than a word. It makes it easier to remember and is tougher to figure out.
Secondly, make sure your passwords are different. If a hacker finds out one of your passwords, they are usually trying that password for all the sites you visit.
Lastly, avoid opening suspicious emails. If you see something with an attachment that doesn't seem right, do not open it until you have verified that the source of the information is secure.