Erie Company One Of Many Victims Of Massive Bank Hacking Scheme - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Erie Company One Of Many Victims Of Massive Bank Hacking Scheme

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An Erie company falls victim to a world-wide hacking scam.
That scam infected hundreds of thousands of computers, stealing more than $100 Million dollars.

With the stroke of a couple keys, the click of a mouse, a hacker in Russia allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from an Erie company.
And they're just one of many victims.

Monday, in Washington DC, officials announced charges against a man named Evigeniy Bogachev.
He allegedly ran a group, who infected computers with software that captured passwords and account numbers. They allegedly stole millions of dollars from victims.

One of those victims was Haysite Reinforced Plastics, a company in Erie.

They're they only victims named in an indictment, unsealed on Monday. According the indictment, the hackers stole about $824,000 from the Erie company's bank accounts, back on October 20, 2011.

Bogachev was allegedly able to steal millions from companies across the globe, using a very sophisticated malware program called Gaveover Zeus.
The program would inject code into victims' computers so that when the user visited a bank website, the malware would ask for additional information like a Social Security number. The user would think they were entering that information for the bank, but it would be sent to the cyber criminals.

Bogachev also used malware called Cryptolocker, a ransom wire scheme.
This malware would infect victims' hard drives, basically wipe our their computers, and then would demand a ransom of up to $750 to make them usable again. That scam affected more than 230,000 computers.

Monday, we sat down with Matt Wiertel, Director of Sales and Marketing at Velocity Network in Erie. He says locally, they've seen computers infected by the Cryptolocker. In some cases they were able to fix the computers and save the files. Others had to pay a ransom of $300 to get their information back.

He says to avoid becoming a victim of malware, you must be diligent. Wiertel says don't ever click on suspicious links, or open links in suspicious links in emails. ie. asking for money for lottery winnings in Africa. He advises to also make sure you have an updated antivirus software and firewall, especially businesses should have update firewalls and advanced security.  Don't put a USB in your computer that may be infected with malware. He says it may be a good ida to upgrade your system, as many Windows XP systems could likely be infected by some kind of virus. And finally, he says backup your computer.

"Have a backup of your computer. You never know when disaster is going to strike," said Wiertel. "It could be a natural disaster, it could be a power disaster, in this case it could be a virus that's going to take out all of your files. So we're able to restore those files back to their previous state, and get them back o- line and back operating," Wiertel added.
"But for some people, depending on the severity of the virus, even if it's Cryptolock or any malware, it can can completely wipe out your system. So if you don't have a backup and you haven't taken the steps to think ahead, you may loose critical files, which we never want to see happen to anybody," Wiertel continued.

Wiertel says the signs that your computer may have malware are your computer slows down or sends spam to your contacts.
He says you can get it by clicking on a link, an ad, or an email.
Authorities say Bogachev is one of the worlds most-wanted cyber criminals. He remains on the loose, but is facing charges including conspiracy, wire  bank and computer fraud, and money laundering.

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