Attention: Stop “Checking In” From Home

stop checking in
Are you one of the millions of Americans who “checks in” when you’re at home?

Whether you work from home permanently or just have days that you spend working remotely from the home office, the Homeland Security Department has some bad news for you. In a recent report, it revealed that cybercriminals are using remote access software to target potential chinks in network security.

Hackers like when you are at home. The remote access software created by Apple, Google, Microsoft and other companies can put company computer networks at risk. When hackers discover the software in use, they can use high-speed programs to guess login credentials and search for access to networks. It’s a hard-to-detect entry point, and the Homeland Security Department wants to make companies and their work from home employees aware of the risk.

Weak passwords can take down even the most secure system. When the human at the other end of the keyboard uses something simple and unsecure for their password, it’s very easy for the high-speed programs to crack into the system. Determined hackers can poke into one of the many vulnerabilities in any system.

Retailers have fallen prey, too. Although specifics about the victims of these attacks weren’t released, insiders claim that more than a dozen retailers have been broken into through remote access points. They include: Target, P.F. Chang’s, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Sally Beauty Supply and Goodwill Industries.

Hackers got into these networks using the remote access point vulnerability, and then released software called Backoff into the system. The software steals payment card data from the in-store cash register systems, and then the hackers can sell that data for as much as $100 per credit card number.

Access to the network can be through relatively unconnected channels. For example, in the Target breach, hackers used remote access ports that were from the computerized heating and cooling software. Homeland Security recommends that companies take steps to reduce remote access, as well as rethink their entire digital security approach.

 

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