How Often Do Cyber-Attacks Happen in Knoxville/East Tennessee?
Widespread cyberattacks via software vulnerabilities consistently happen worldwide and have even hit Knoxville/East TN multiple times. For example, in 2022, a cyberattack hit East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, leaving the door open for the sensitive, private information of children in the area to be exploited. Cybercriminals look at hospitals and healthcare facilities as prime targets. This targeting is due to medical facilities often being unable to shut down their operations, making existing attacks last even longer while people continue to work.
It’s not just medical facilities at risk either. Businesses and individuals are also very much in danger from hackers constantly looking for ways to exploit software vulnerabilities. For example, in 2020, a ransomware attack in Knoxville led to a substantial IT network shutdown, knocking the city’s network entirely offline.
Software vulnerabilities are an unfortunate part of working with technology. Additionally, with the advancement of technology comes an increase in cyber threats. As a result, the threat of hackers preying on cyber vulnerabilities is not going away anytime soon. So to keep yourself protected, it is essential to keep track of the most significant vulnerabilities hackers are presently feasting on.
Preventing cyberattacks can seem like a game of whack-a-mole. Developers are constantly issuing patches and updates to fix loopholes allowing hackers to breach systems through the code. Unfortunately, without ongoing patch and update management, networks are vulnerable. However, many of these attacks are entirely avoidable. For example, 82% of U.S. cyberattacks in Q1 of 2022 were due to exploiting patchable vulnerabilities. In addition, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently warned of new product vulnerabilities from Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and other large organizations.
Make Sure to Patch Any of These Vulnerabilities in Your Systems
Microsoft vulnerabilities include at least three identified products, including Internet Explorer (IE). Lucky enough for you, Microsoft discontinued IE in June 2022. Regardless, you should remove this from any computers where installed.
Among the vulnerabilities identified was CVE-2012-4969, which enables hackers to execute dangerous code remotely via a website. CVE is an acronym used in vulnerability names, standing for “Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures.” In addition, Microsoft Office 2003 and Office 2011 for Mac contained a flaw in their code (CVE-2013-1331), allowing hackers to launch remote attacks. CVE-2013-1331 exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft’s buffer overflow function, allowing hackers to execute dangerous code remotely.
Google Chrome and applications built using Google’s Chromium V8 Engine are also vulnerable to cyberattacks. Such vulnerabilities included CVE-2016-1646 and CVE-2016-518. These two identified code flaws enabled attackers to conduct denial-of-service attacks against websites through remote control. Unfortunately, those aren’t the only code flaws that allow hackers to crash sites that way. Other code flaws, CVE-2018-17463 and CVE-2017-5070, also allowed hackers to hit sites. However, these have patches already issued that users can find and install to fix these holes.
People use Adobe Acrobat Reader widely to share documents. It makes it easy to transfer them across different platforms and operating systems. But it’s also a tool on this list of prevalent vulnerabilities.
· CVE-2009-4324: This is a flaw in Acrobat Reader that allows hackers to execute remote code via a PDF file. This evidence is why you can’t trust that a PDF attachment will be safer than other file types. Remember this when receiving unfamiliar emails.
· CVE-2010-1297: This memory corruption vulnerability allows remote execution and denial of service attacks through Adobe Flash Player. Like IE, the developer retired Flash Player. It no longer receives support or security updates. It would be best if you uninstalled this from all PCs and websites.
Patch & Update Regularly!
The increase in cyber threats means that companies and individuals must remain vigilant and proactive to prevent attacks. After all, these are only a few security vulnerabilities listed on the CISA list. You can see all 36 that appear on this list here.
It is essential to keep software updated, identify vulnerabilities, and ensure that systems and networks are secure. Companies and individuals alike must also stay educated on cybersecurity and the risks of phishing attacks. With the proper security measures and proactive approach, we can remain protected from cyber threats and reduce the risk of data breaches and other cyber attacks.
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The article was used with permission from The Technology Press.