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Security & privacy

Retaliation? Russian hackers take credit for McDonald’s ransomware attack

In an effort to hurt the U.S., Russia launched a cyberattack on the quintessential American food chain: McDonald’s. To be more specific, a Russian group called Snatch took the credit for a recent hack on the McDonald’s Corporation. According to National Cybersecurity News, Snatch stole 500GB of data and demanded payment on the Dark Web.

DailyMail broke the story. Reporters say they reached out to McDonald’s for a comment but never heard back. This news is no surprise to Kim, who said Americans should brace themselves for cyberattacks in retaliation to U.S. sanctions on Russia.

After all, Russia launched cyberattacks on Ukraine prior to its invasion through land, sea and air. Tap or click here to find out how Ukrainian cyberattacks could predict how Russia will invade American systems. Here’s all you need to know about this attack — and how to prepare yourself for similar breaches.

Here’s the backstory

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently advised all American businesses and organizations to take extra measures to prevent cyberattacks. It has warned American organizations about potential Russian cyberattacks for months.

“Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which has been accompanied by cyber-attacks on the Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure organizations, may have consequences for our own nation’s critical infrastructure,” the agency said in a Shields Up alert.

CISA urged companies to update software, validate remote access controls, protect cloud services and more. It looks like McDonald’s didn’t follow the advice if Snatch’s Dark Web posts are anything to go by.

McDonald’s hasn’t confirmed whether or not the hack occurred, but it’s common for companies to demure in these situations.

If you signed up for the McDonald’s app, or if the company has your private information for any other reason, you should check to make sure your data is safe. Use a free resource like HaveIBeenPwned or CyberNews checker to see if your information was exposed in the hack.

“Every organization — large and small — must be prepared to respond to disruptive cyber activity,” according to CISA’s alert. If you don’t protect yourself ASAP, you’re putting your digital life at risk.

Here’s how this impacts you

In 2019, Security firm Sophos said the team behind Snatch appears to be Russian. It isn’t certain whether this is a lone wolf group or a hacking coalition powered by the Russian government. Either way, the alleged McDonald’s hack could be the first of many cyberattacks.

Whether you’re a citizen or business owner, you need to prepare. The Russians could take down our fiber optic cables or satellites. Either way, they could take out the internet, from GPS to traffic lights.

You should immediately secure all your equipment from malware and other cyberattacks. Make sure your network is 100% protected, too. Tap or click here to change your home network from public to private.

Also, watch out for phishing attempts. Don’t open any links or download attachments from unsolicited emails or text messages. They could be malicious, designed to install malware onto your devices. If you don’t already have one, download tested antivirus software. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV.

Remember, it’s highly unlikely that this hack is a one-off event. It could be the first in a series of cyber invasions since the chances of cyberattacks on America have never been higher than right now. Scroll down for a few defense strategies.

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