Cyber Security

Stock image of a hand against a screen of computer code.
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The economic impact of ransomware attacks is expected to reach more than $11 billion in 2019, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. State and local governments are increasingly vulnerable, and North Carolina is not immune to this growing problem.

Erik Chapman, town of Cary's Information Technology security manager
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Server rooms are boring. Stacks of computers with blinking lights. Cords in red, yellow, black and blue held together with zip ties. They're chilly from the extra air conditioning that keeps them cool.

In Cary's town hall, the server room is deep inside a building under constant lock. Town Information Technology Security Manager Erik Chapman had to swipe his badge and enter a number code to get in. The whirring sound of dozens of computers running at the same time rushed out of the door as it opened.

A woman's hands on a tablet in front of a computer.
Pexels / Pixabay

A North Carolina woman was stalked and harassed on social media for months, and police said they could not do anything to help her. 

Fingers on a keyboard, computer,
Wikimedia Commons

A Republican state lawmaker is teaming up with North Carolina's Democratic Attorney General to work on legislation to prevent data breaches.

City Of Durham Fends Off "Ransomware" Attacks

Feb 24, 2016
Marcie Casas / Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Durham withstood two computer viruses in the last week that try to lock files and hold them for ransom.

Hackers used "ransomware" in the attacks, and the virus is a growing concern in cyber security.

“It’s still not super common, but once you’ve got it, there’s not a whole lot of recourse for getting your data back except for paying the ransom unfortunately,” said Pam Guidry-Vollers, a software specialist at The Computer Cellar.

Broadband internet, computers,
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President Obama used last night’s State of the Union address to position himself as a champion of the middle class.

He called on Congress to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans to pay for services like child care and rising health costs.

But he also took a minute to ask Congress to pass a bill that would beef up this nation’s cybersecurity.

An internet hacker dressed as a robber cracks a code on a desktop
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You may not know what OpenSSL does, but odds are you rely on it when you enter your credit card number to make a purchase online. The software provides internet security for companies large and small across the web. A recently discovered bug in the software called Heartbleed could mean massive security breaches by hackers and exposure of private information. 

Business leaders met in Cary today to discuss security threats to their corporate networks.

Gurnal Scott: No business is immune to cyber attacks. Several locally-based companies took part in an exercise to see how vulnerable computer systems can be. Cyber technology expert Joan Myers says breaches are expensive.

Joan Myers: It's up to a trillion dollars just last year in lost intellectual property.