High Profile Hacks Highlight Cyber Security
Have you changed your computer password lately? Now might be a good time. This week two high profile South Dakotans had their Twitter accounts hacked.
The U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Brendan Johnson, and Colonel Craig Price the Superintendent of the South Dakota Dakota Highway Patrol were both hacked.
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray reports that both cases highlight the importance of cyber security.
Despite being a little embarrassed about his hacked Twitter, Brendan Johnson says he chose to talk in public about the issue in the interest of raising awareness about cyber security. After all, if this can happen to the United States Attorney then it can happen to anybody.
“I received a direct message on Twitter from someone I know well. And I was on my mobile phone and so I clicked on the message and then I received a page that looked like an officials Twitter page popped up on my phone and told me I needed to re-enter my password,” says Johnson.
Johnson fell prey to what’s commonly called a phishing scam. That Twitter page he thought he was logging into wasn’t official, rather it was a hacker website that copied his password and hijacked his account. Johnson caught the mistake and fixed it quickly.
Officials who maintain cyber security for the State of South Dakota say people should stay away from any links look at all suspicious. Miguel Penaranda is a Cyber Security Analyst for the state of South Dakota. He says it’s also important to maintain multiple passwords for different websites.
“Meaning whatever password you use for Twitter is not the same one you should use for Facebook. And I know we basically have maybe twenty to thirty accounts on-line. And I know it's very very hard, but that’s probabally one of the biggest things to consider. Never re-use passwords,” says Penaranda.
Penaranda says to go a step further when on-line banking and making on-line payments one should use a separate computer dedicated only to financial transactions, without Google searches, social media, and e-mail. He says a separate computer dedicated only to finance is the best way to protect ones bank account.
You can find more information on how to maintain cyber security on the State's website here.