Rotary learns of cybersecurity

Nov. 10—Creston Rotary was informed of the fundamentals of cybersecurity threats during its meeting Monday.

Presented by member Karla Alford, she explained three common strategies people use to gain access to computer systems.

A spear phishing attack is an attempt to acquire information or access to a computer system by sending counterfeit messages that appear to be legitimate. "Spear phishing" is a type of phishing campaign that targets a specific person or group and often will include information known to be of interest to the target, such as current events or financial documents.

Like other social engineering attacks, spear phishing takes advantage of basic human traits, such as a desire to be helpful, provide a positive response to those in authority, a desire to respond positively to someone who shares similar tastes or views, or simple curiosity about contemporary news and events. These messages are delivered via e-mail and are designed to convince the user to open a malicious link or attachment, exposing the target to malicious software.

Avoid websites that produce browser alerts and advise against access. Do not open email attachments or click links from unknown senders. Use a strong password and change it as required.

CEO fraud is using a business email while impersonating someone of importance from a company. The emails are sent to those people work under the person of importance. Requests in the email usually include sharing account numbers or other private information. Potential victims are to look closely for company details that are not accuate; like a spelling of a company name or employee. Potential victims are encouraged to establish valid relationships with administration or trusted coworkers to very the requests.

Social engineering are attempts for suspects to trick people into doing something they should not which reveals certain information. Someone may set up a fraud social media account only to attempt o contact a company's officials. Be suspicious of any unsolicited messages. If the email looks like it is from a company you use, do additional research.

Creston Rotary meets at noon the first and third Mondays of the month at Anson's Bar and Grill.