FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Roundup: December 1st – December 8th

Hey there, FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back with another edition of our weekly roundup where we deliver the most recent comings and goings of the cybersecurity world.

This week we’re dealing with Nigerian scammers, an infamous hacker finally being put behind bars, and a study revealing how backing up your data can protect you against ransomware!

Just last week, three alleged cybercriminals from Nigeria were apprehended in an Interpol-led operation. These cybercriminals belonged to a gang known as, TMT, and are said to be responsible for cybercrimes in nearly 150 countries with more than 500,000 victims since 2017.

According to reports, the group used a multitude of tools and techniques in order to reap maximum profits from their victims, typically targeting organizations and posing as a member in order to request funds. The group was also known for implementing a variety of different spyware and Trojan programs to their victims as well!

You can read up on the situation here!

Recently, 22-year-old hacker, Timothy Dalton Vaughn, was sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty to a multitude of crimes, many of which revolved around sending threats of shootings and bombings to numerous schools located in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as possessing child pornography.

Vaughn, who also went by the monikers “WantedbyFeds” and “Hacker_R_US”, was a member of the international hacker group known as Apophis Squad, who were mostly known for placing threatening phone calls, and sending bogus email reports of attacks at schools, all with the intent of causing disruption.

The group was responsible for targeting at least 86 school districts with various false bomb and shooting threats, and even going as far as defacing the website of a university in Colombia so visitors to the site saw a picture of Adolf Hitler.

Curious? You can read up on the situation here.

According to a recent study published by Sophos, ransomware has been on the rise lately, but organizations have been on the move to stay one step ahead.

According to the report, 51% of organizations were hit by some form of ransomware last year, with a success rate of nearly 75%. However, in all of these cases, 94% of organizations whose data was encrypted got their data back – mostly because they had their data backed up.

Though ransomware is generally more common for businesses rather than individuals, you’d be surprised by the lengths to which hackers go to receive a payout. While there are always tools for removing ransomware from a system (the FixMeStick for example), your data will still remain encrypted unless you pay the ransom.

With that being said, unless you’re able to decrypt your data, your best bet is to simply plan ahead. According to studies, backing up your data is actually the best way to beat ransomware! Rather than having to pay someone to decrypt your data, or worse, pay the ransom, backing up your data is a guaranteed way to ensure your files are safe no matter what.

You can read up on the study here, or check up on our guide to backing up your files!

That’s all for this week’s roundup folks! We hope you’re staying safe with all that’s going on, especially when it comes to your cybersecurity!