What platform do you use for your business or personal website? There's one mega-popular system that millions of websites (including mine) use to manage online content. Maybe you use it, too. Now the FBI is warning that extremist hackers could take over my site and your site to display pro-ISIS messages unless we stop them.
The site in question is WordPress, which is one of the most popular website-hosting platforms. I use it, but I keep myself protected from vulnerabilities that would lead to a hack. How? It's pretty simple.
I always check for the latest security updates and update whenever there's an opportunity. Even regular hackers that have nothing to do with ISIS and its supporters can attack a website through outdated widgets and older support software.
According to the FBI, ISIS sympathizers are targeting WordPress Web sites and the communication platforms of news organizations, commercial entities, religious institutions, federal/state/local governments, foreign governments, and a variety of other domestic and international sites.
The FBI also warns that pro-ISIS sympathizers are creating fake government websites to trick people into giving away personally identifying information, leading to identity theft and fraud.
The scam sites appear at the top of a search engine's results, and victims click on the sites and enter data. Then the site will charge a fee to submit the data to the system, and encourage the victims to send even more personal data.
By the time a victim realizes what has happened, money has already been drained from their accounts and their identities have been compromised. According to the FBI, the best way to avoid this kind of scam is to search for reviews of the site you plan to interact with.
If you need to submit information to the IRS or the Social Security Administration, be sure to look around and find contact information like email addresses and phone numbers and test them. These "fly by night" scams often haven't been around long enough to get an online reputation or a review trail.
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