HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va, (WDTV)– Harrison County is still recovering files lost after an attack two weeks ago.
Cyber attacks can range range from the annoying to the outright dangerous.
According to Fairmont State University assistant professor of cyber security Tom Devine, the attacks used against Harrison County are known as ransomware. This is when files are encrypted and a fine must be paid to get access back.
Devine says ransomware is one of the most prominent attacks used by hackers.
“Ransomware is always going to be there, and the reason for that is that people pay. So you’ve got to think, the FBI will tell you, everyone will tell you. Don’t pay when you ransomwared,” Devine said.
The recent Harrison County hack ran into this issue. After officials paid the initial ransom, the attackers demanded another ransom, twice the size of the original.
Devine says the best way to avoid ransomware attacks is to backup all your data. So, if an attack happens, the files have been encrypted are not lost.
It is not just ransomware to be cautious Devine says. Hackers are always on the hunt for personal information.
“Be of the mindset that everything you see or hear on the internet thats targeted at you is probably false and trying to manipulate you into doing something,” Devine said.
The best thing to do to protect against cyber security attacks it to educate yourself Devine said. Hackers are everywhere on the internet, including where you least expect. While Devine was showing News 5 resources to learn more about cyber security, he stumbled upon a potential attack.
Devine says that cyber attacks happen consistently so being alert at all times is key to staying safe while surfing the web.
“One of the things I like to do in class is talk about current attacks that are happening in the world. I have never had to look very far to find one,” Devine said.