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Cyberattack: A big one is coming, prepare now

It isn't just the power grid. Over the past few years, hackers have been amping up their game by targeting the companies we use every day.

Retailers, hotel chains, restaurants, hospitals and other health care facilities, credit card companies and many other types of businesses are getting hit by hackers. These hackers seek vulnerabilities in the organization's network and then exploit their customers' personal information.

Beyond major corporations, hackers have also exposed several vulnerabilities within systems tied to government agencies. Just this past June, around 154 million voter records were stolen through a breach. That's on top of the 191 million voter records that were stolen and released online earlier.

Cybersecurity issues have also been identified within the networks of local police departments, which is extremely concerning when you consider that these are the people who are supposed to keep you safe. Click here to see how police offices in Newark, New Jersey were targeted.

And the list keeps growing. Plans are already in motion to upgrade the U.S. air traffic control system, but that brings with it problems that a hacker can exploit.

I think I've proved my point about the various ways hackers could launch a cyberattack that causes major disruption. However, there are two more surprising avenues that you might not have considered.

Not long ago hackers knocked a radio station in Louisiana off the air, which is worrisome since radio is one of the fallback ways to get information when everything else goes down. The radio station in question was running unsecured Windows XP computers, so it made the hackers' job easier. However, it's still evidence that hackers can get to just about anything.

If hackers can't attack electronically, they might stoop to something a bit cruder. There's been a rash of instances where hackers have cut internet cables manually.

Next page: What you can do about it
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Do hackers really have millions of usernames and passwords? And should I be worried?
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