Cyber-attacks rise following US sanctions on Russia

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As cyber-warfare in the Ukraine war expands, more people than ever are at risk of cyber-security attacks. We spoke to Brian Larsen of Washington Federal Bank to learn the best ways to protect yourself.

It’s difficult to determine whether or not the war has caused the increase in attacks, but there is a correlation between them.

“It might be a coincidence, but yes, after the sanctions were imposed, industry-wide there’s been an uptick against companies, specifically companies that deal with Russia or Ukraine on a day-to-day basis.”

But the effects aren’t restrained to international businesses. There has also been a rise in attacks targeting private individuals as well.

“Again it’s a coincidence, but I personally and other people have seen an uptick in these events yes,” Larsen said. “There’s definitely an attempt on a massive scale to fraudulently access people’s information.”

These aren’t generally more sophisticated than the usual scams that are frequently sent in emails and texts, there are just more of them.

“Everybody just needs to be on high alert. Look at the emails you receive, look at the texts you receive,” Larsen said. “Be critical when you decide to look at something. Stay away from links that you don’t know. If it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true, so just stay away from it.”

Especially important is using strong passwords that don’t contain anything that may make it possible for someone to guess, such as a birthdate or pet’s name.

“Try to use strong passwords that have a minimum of 12 to 15 or even more characters in them, usually a combination of characters, and letters and numbers,” Larsen said.

 

Brian Larsen / VP and NW Arizona Retail Division Manager, WaFd Bank

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