Hackers and Hurricane Relief

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean this past summer. In response, citizens across the United States rose to the occasion, donating time and money to help those affected by the storms. Unfortunately, for malicious actors, the outpouring of charity signals an opportunity to steal funds from authentic relief organizations, primarily through phishing attacks.

AppRiver, a provider of cloud-based web and email security solutions, reported a phony Red Cross donations site and indicated that additional scams are on the way. CNET warned readers about phishing scams originating from fake Facebook and Twitter pages. Traditional phishing attacks, fraudulent websites and social media pages, and email viruses should be on your radar anyway — even more so when you’re planning a contribution to an organization that you believe is legitimate.

On August 28, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) issued an official warning with a list of preventative measures to safeguard against budding phishing scams. Among them:

  1. Do not access unsolicited web links in email messages.
  2. Use caution when opening email attachments.
  3. Regularly update anti-virus solutions and other security software.
  4. Verify email legitimacy by contacting the organization directly through a trusted phone number.

At Securance, we preach security awareness to our clients and employees. By security awareness, we mean constant vigilance: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you aren’t currently practicing strategies such as those recommended by US-CERT, start now, and don’t click “Donate Here” until you know that your money is going to the right place.

Securance has pledged to donate five percent of company profits to hurricane relief efforts in Florida through the end of 2017. Click here to learn more about what we’re doing and how you can get involved.