Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fake news!

Sometimes the things we see on TV cause us to pause....and maybe ponder "is that really happening?"  "Did that really happen?"  "Will that really happen?"

Mainly because (as I have discussed before), if you don't like the 10-day weather forecast, or the slant on news being reported, please just change your channel.

Lately we have been hearing much about cyber attacks in our country and around the world. Apparently, a criminal no longer needs to take human hostages in order to demand a ransom.

For example, it has been reported that hospitals have had to cancel surgeries, appointments, etc. when a cyber attack was launched on their system, with many $$$ being demanded before the system is "freed".  Obviously, no one wants to negotiate with cyber terrorists, as this just sets the stage for more demands.  And there is no real guarantee that you will ever get your system back intact as before.

On a more personal level, a computer in our household was taken hostage this week.  We even received a call from the attacker, telling Mr. French to pay  $2,500 in Itune gift cards (must be the newest form of untraceable currency).  He was even provided with a convenient location close by to make the purchase. Wow!  How is that for customer service?

Now, no one's life was threatened and no operations had to be put on hold, but I am here to tell you, this is a damn inconvenience.  It is not just his computer that was locked up.  We had unauthorized transfers appearing on our bank accounts that needed attention immediately.  Fortunately, Mr. French drove straight to the bank and had all accounts frozen.  We spent quality time changing passwords on every type of account we have ever opened.

I will mention at this point, that changing passwords may be the worse thing that has happened. Apparently at some point in time our memories must have been taken hostage since we can't seem to remember anything anymore.  Or maybe it's just our ability to memorize new passwords.

Ok.  We will survive this heinous attack but there are some lessons to be learned.  If this should ever happen to you, DO NOT give any personal information.  Thankfully, Mr. French did not.  Another tidbit, your computer is not ruined.  Take it to any reputable (think geek squad) IT business and they can clean up this mess.  (for a fee, of course).

Until next time,

your pal,

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