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Beware companies! Plug in all loopholes as cyber extortion is on the rise

... Business Insider:

Cyber extortion is giving many companies sleepless nights, especially in Hyderabad. A slew of cases have been reported from the city where hackers have withheld company's websites and asked for payment inBitcoins in return.

The hackers penetrate the weak security systems of several companies and threaten individuals of putting up confidential information on websites or even sell them.

The information sold can range from email IDs to Aadhaar and bank account numbers.

"An incident of data being kept hostage was first reported a year ago. At that time, we did not take it seriously. But when another victim came with a similar complaint in late July, we realised that it's a new modus operandi," assistant commissioner of police (Cyber Crimes) B Anuradha told TOI.

Cyber experts say data sharing is invaluable for improving businesses and hackers take advantage of it and sell important information sale for a few lakhs of rupees.

The news daily reported that one of the most common frauds being committed by hackers is to misguide business partners by sending emails from similar looking email ids and asking them to transfer money to new accounts.

"Corporates and individuals should always maintain upgraded operating systems, firewalls and advanced anti-virus softwares to protect data from intrusion. One should avoid using unlicensed, pirated, free anti-virus tools available on the web, since many of them are not foolproof.
Corporates should have a periodic cyber audit to avoid data hacking. Never open unsolicited mails or invites on social media," joint commissioner of police (CCS), T Prabhakar Rao, told TOI.

He also suggested that users should always have passwords that are complicated and not predictable like names of family members.

So, one needs to be careful and not give in to cyber hackers. To begin with, one should never open or respond to unsolicited emails or invites on social media. People should not download free mobile apps that offer free talk time. One is also advised to have complicated passwords.