Archive for 2024

Tips to Avoid Tax Season Scams

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Tax time

As you prepare to do your taxes this season, be on the lookout for these potential signs of tax fraud: 

  • First and foremost, be wary of unsolicited messages claiming to be from the IRS or any tax authority. These entities will never contact you by email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information. 
  • Emails containing documents about tax law changes are another avenue for scammers to get malicious files into your computer.
  • The promise of unusually large refunds, which scammers use to lure unsuspecting taxpayers into sharing sensitive information. 
  • If using one, ensure your tax preparer is reputable and has appropriate credentials. Always review your tax return carefully before submitting and avoid signing blank forms. 

Lastly, safeguard your Social Security number and personal information, as these are key targets for identity thieves. By staying informed and vigilant, you can keep your valuables safe and out of the hands of criminals. 

Read more about this here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-security-summit-partners-warn-of-surge-in-new-client-scams-aimed-at-tax-pros-as-2024-filing-season-approaches.

For more information, contact CSUCI's Information Security Team at infosec@csuci.edu or visit the Information Security website.


Using End-of-Life (EOL) Computer Equipment Can be a Substantial Cyberthreat

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In a recent cybersecurity triumph, the U.S. government successfully thwarted a sophisticated botnet linked to the People's Republic of China. This botnet was allegedly utilized to conceal hacking activities targeted at critical infrastructure, posing a potential threat to national security.

End of Life Computer Equipment is a Cyberthreat

The nation-state hackers used comprised routers from Cisco, NetGear, and other routers that were vulnerable because they had reached “end of life” status; that is, they were no longer supported through their manufacturer’s security patches or other software updates.

The Department of Justice spearheaded a coordinated effort to dismantle the botnet, severing the connection between compromised devices and the central server. This strategic move neutralized an immediate threat and signaled the United States' commitment to defend against cyber threats.

Critical infrastructure, including power grids and communication networks, is increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The disruption of this botnet is a pivotal step in protecting these essential systems and attributing cyber-attacks to their perpetrators. The incident also emphasizes the need for international cooperation in addressing evolving cyber threats.

Your home network and EOL devices can lead to a cyber-attack. Ensuring devices are updated and replaced in a timely manner is crucial to protecting yourself from an attack like this. 

Source: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-government-disrupts-botnet-peoples-republic-china-used-conceal-hacking-critical