A PROFIT WITHOUT PROFIT has been attacked by cyber hackers who claim $11,000 in bitcoins. Now the nonprofit is warning people to protect themselves.
First Steps of Spartanburg, a non-profit organization that works with children, was targeted by hackers. Chief executive Barbara Manoski called the incident “heartbreaking.”
“You know, our work is very oriented towards good, to make the lives of young children and their families better. To build a stronger and more prosperous community,” she said.
“Why in the world would anyone want to do this to us?”
A few weeks ago, Manoski and IT Director Eddie Burkholder received a call from South Carolina Law Enforcement who warned of a ransomware attack.
Suspicious was sent to people claiming to be from the nonprofit. The hackers also sent a message to First Steps, telling them that their files were “encrypted” and locked by an extension called “Chernobyl”.
Manoski called the incident “a nightmare.”
Burkholder and SLED staged an investigation, revealing that hackers got in through a Microsoft vulnerability in their email servers.
“What they usually do is they go into your network, put that bomb somewhere, and then at a particular time, they come back, and they just fire it up and boom, you’re done,” says Burkholder.
According to the authorities, the nonprofit is the sixth charity to be established in the South Carolina with scams.
The Federal Trade Commission says there are four main ways that hackers can gain access to your computer or network.
The most common way is with phishing emails with broken links. They also use malware-infected websites that download malware, advertise online with malicious code, and server vulnerabilities.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
To protect yourself from cybercriminals, make sure to back up your computer or network. Reliable backups like Google Drive, iCloud, and Carbonite are useful tools.
Make sure your web browsers like Chrome and Safari are up to date. You can also install anti-virus protection on your device.
First Steps already has a number of such systems and does not pay a ransom.
“Because a lot of times, you send that money, but they don’t decrypt your files and you still have to rebuild,” says Burkholder.
Manoski warns anyone who uses a computer that they may experience the same problem.
“You are not exempt from him. I mean, if they’re after a nonprofit, they’re going after anyone who isn’t,” she said.
The Sun has reached out to Microsoft for comment.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4484906/microsoft-charity-hack-scam-bitcoin-news/ Microsoft Hacker Alerts Demanding $11,000 in Bitcoin From Children’s Charity, and Owner Says ‘ANYONE Is At Risk’