Experts warn of evolving hacking attempts

Across the nation last year, 169 million personal records were exposed in 781 data breaches

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CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Online and mobile banking has doubled in the last year at Farmers National Bank. It’s here to stay and has drastically changed the cyber security landscape.

Across the nation last year, 169 million personal records were exposed in 781 data breaches. Past breaches of security have been widespread at Target, Anthem and Home Depot.

The attacks are evolving and that’s why it’s important to learn how you can reduce your own risk, says Farmers National Bank CEO Kevin Helmick.

“We know that there are some bad actors out there that are trying to take advantage of those trends. We’re trying to protect people as best we can,” he said.

Mike McCormack, business development director of the information security consulting firm SecureState, said the newest trend is social engineering. He said hackers entice you to open an email attachment from someone that you don’t recognize or provide a password to someone you don’t know.

“The old Nigerian prince email that you used to get, they’re becoming much more sophisticated than that, and there’s emails that we’ve seen that the security industry would even click on. We would get tricked into doing that,” he said.

SecureState presented the latest cyber security information Wednesday at a fraud seminar hosted by Farmers National Bank. Many hackers are just looking to embarrass companies, but there are criminals looking for money and intellectual property.

“We’re seeing a lot of these hacks coming through business emails, attacking CFOs at work or people in their personal lives as well,” Helmick said.

The hacks won’t be stopping; a new batch of criminals is always trying something. One thing to know is that you can catch a breach first, sometimes before it’s made public.

“I think it’s looking at your statements, making sure all your financial institutions are providing you with those — online or through the mail — and then checking your credit as well,” Helmick said. “It’s a good way to always prevent those types of things.”

That advice also works with other types of fraud, such as the Wells Fargo incident in which the bank’s employees opened accounts for people who didn’t want them. Noticing a new account on a credit report, or a different type of fee or account statement can also trigger something wrong being done.

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