In this day and age for local government, it has become a given that email scammers, online fraudsters, and hackers are going to target businesses and public agencies, as well as individuals.
(TNS) — In this day and age it's a given that email scammers, online fraudsters, and hackers are going to
Knowing that, Oregon City Administrator
"The challenge is that perpetrators are frequently a step ahead and moving on to the next best opportunity to scamming,"
An employee in the Lucas County Auditor's Office fell victim recently to an email scam which resulted in more than $600,000 of public funds being sent to what the employee thought was a construction contractor. Earlier this year
But victims can be found even at the national level.
"It can happen to anybody,"
Locally agencies and organizations use specialized software to curb these kinds of attacks. But multiple officials acknowledged that employee training and vigilance are major parts of preventing any schemes from being carried out.
"The biggest thing we do is that we're very aware," said
"A lot more people are taking their laptop home with them, so they are connecting through a VPN so the information is out there and not protected," she said.
"These kinds of attacks are almost impossible to stop," he said.
Different forms of antivirus protections can help, he said, as well as two-factor authentication. Often, he said, perpetrators will try to impersonate someone else or send corrupt links disguised as programs the organization is already using.
"The one that we're seeing now is a DocuSign hoax,"
DocuSign is a program that allows people to manage agreements electronically. Employees who use DocuSign as part of their normal business practice might be lured more easily into clicking on a malware link set up to resemble the same program.
He did note that hundreds of fraudulent emails are sent every day, often targeting businesses and organizations. Every agency gets hit with them to some extent.
"The idea is try to limit your exposure," he said.
Lucas County Auditor
"You start to get more confident and relaxed," she said about people getting used to working online.
She would not comment on the investigation, which is still ongoing, into the recent email scam carried out against the auditor's office. Nor would she comment on exactly how protocols could change as a result of the attack.
"Anything that comes in email, regardless of what it is, you have to verify it," she said. "That's the bottom line."
(c)2021 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Looking for the latest gov tech news as it happens? Subscribe to GT newsletters.