Why Hackers Don’t Take a Holiday

Why Hackers Dont Take a HolidayThe FBI released a warning before Labor Day citing a hacking pattern over long or holiday weekends. This year the meat processing company JBS was attacked on Friday heading into Memorial Day weekend. The Kaseya attack occurred on the Friday before the long Fourth of July weekend. The Colonial Pipeline attack took place over Mother’s Day weekend, a time many employees would have been more likely offline. We are still waiting to hear if any attacks occurred over this past weekend, but it’s clear hackers find holidays useful.

In general, ransomware attackers like weekends; they want the most amount of time inside a network to look around as possible. Attackers are also interested in the least amount of oversight, and if they are discovered, the least number of staff to deal with the issue. A long weekend, when many employees might also take off on Friday, is prime time to move around the network and encrypt files. Ransomware reports tend to spike on Monday when victims return to work to find their data encrypted.

Unfortunately, staying secure from hacking is not a matter of somehow locking down systems on Friday, and starting them back up Monday, holiday or not. Attackers typically have already gained access to the system, but they wait for the weekend to move around or encrypt files. The FBI used this past weekend to draw attention to the increase in attacks and to give business owners another opportunity to think about their cybersecurity standing. The recommendations in the report were not quick solutions, but the practices and procedures we talk about on this blog continually:

“Don’t click on suspicious links. Make an offline backup of your data. Use strong passwords. Make sure your software is up to date. Use two-factor authentication.”

Understanding the way hackers work, and the patterns emerging from this year of increased attacks is another step in keeping your business and customer data safe.

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Posted by Charles Wright