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The Latest on Cybercrime - Ransomware, Hack Attacks and Massive Data Breaches

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Pixabay


It seems like yesterday that I wrote, "The Latest Hack Attack - Equifax Breach Exposes 143 Million Americans".  However, soon after that article I wrote, "Massive Data Leak Exposes 340 Million Americans Personal Data - Now What!". In fact, when I searched our blog on the term "data breaches", 11 articles showed in the list.  If I added internet security and hacking, I'd get another two dozen more articles listed. We are a marketing company, so you are probably wondering why I'm writing about cybercrime and hacking. Well, the fact is this; cybercrime has a direct affect on the amount of trust consumers place in the internet. Without a high level of trust, people won't buy or use the internet for research and shopping. Without that trust, we as a marketing company would be out of business. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the latest, data breaches, hack attacks and ransomware events taking place in the USA. We will also provide a list of resources to help you protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime. So be ready to have your confidence shaken and then restored as we explore the latest  Cybercrrimes, including Ransomware exploits, Hack Attacks and Massive data Breaches that have taken place recently.




Last Monday's headline says it all, Quest Diagnostics announced that personal information for approximately 11.9 million patients may have been accessed by an unauthorized user through a third-party billing collections vendor between August 1, 2018 and March 30, 2019. This is just another example of the numerous data breaches that have taken place in recent months.  

Another recent alarming headline read - "Hackers Are Holding Baltimore Hostage: How They Struck and What’s Next, and another - "The Baltimore ransomware attack could be coming to your city — or hospital". The reality is that these attacks are all too common today.  But guess what, none of this is new. We have been writing about this problem for years, it just that now it's in the headlines everyday! 



News about the Baltimore ransomware attack

Last week I wrote the article called  "Privacy Lost". This was the second time I addressed the loss of privacy and freedoms our country was founded on. But its not just privacy, it also has to do with the whole culture of cybercrime, web security, the indiscriminate implementation of IoT, widespread use of  AI and the almost blind stampede of internet users racing towards a gigantic internet catastrophe that I find alarming.  I know many of you may feel that I'm overreacting. My answer to that is - ask the 16.7 million US citizens who were victims of identity theft in 2018. Or better still, ask the billions of people and businesses who were affected by hack attacks and data breaches last year


More on the Baltimore Ransomware Attack

If you type in the search terms "Hacker", "internet security", or "cyber criminals",  you will find a couple dozen more articles covering these subjects. More importantly, you will find security tips and suggestions on ways to tighten up your cyber defenses to protect your digital assets. This is especially true of our article called; "36 Top Cyber Security Tips to Protect your Digital World". Here is a short list of some of the more popular articles.
Courtesy of Pixabay

Earlier I mentioned two recent articles where the headlines were lead stories and front page news on most media sites. I want to make sure you understand that these two events are only the tip of the iceberg. Here are another dozen recent articles showing how big the problem has grown. 

  1. 10 Ransomware Attacks You Should Know About in 2019
  2. These Are the Worst Corporate Hacks of All Time
  3. Cybercrime Diary, Q2 2019: Who’s Hacked? Latest Data Breaches And Cyberattacks
  4. Significant Cyber Incidents
  5. The 18 biggest data breaches of the 21st century
  6. Hackers steal data from some of the biggest companies in the world
  7. 2019 Data Breaches - The Worst So Far
  8. The most infamous data breaches
  9. The top 10 biggest security breaches of 2019 (so far)
  10. Dharma Ransomware Uses Legit Antivirus Tool To Distract Victims
  11. MyfitnessPal was listed on Firefox Monitor breach list for February of 2019
  12. June 2019 Quest Diagnostics announced data breach of approximately 11.9 million patients 

I don't want to sound like Chicken Little who screamed the sky is falling, but guess what - internet security is quickly disappearing. If you just take into account two or three of the major breaches, their exposed information easily exceeds the population of the entire United States of America by tenfold. Equifax, Facebook, Yahoo, Target, HomeDepot, MyFitnessPal, Saks Fifth Ave have all been hacked, and the list goes on and on. 


Courtesy of Working the Web to Win

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Number one is to read and implement my list of the "36 Top Cyber Security Tips to Protect your Digital World". This article provides the latest facts, tools, tips and techniques you can use to stop cybercrime in its tracks.  Number two, adopt a cybersecurity mindset. Learn everything you can about what's going on. Cybersecurity ignorance is not bliss, its suicide! Check out my list of "solution articles" and Website Links to further round out your knowledge of the problem and what solutions are offered.


Click to Watch Live Global Cyber attacks
Cyber-criminals have been on a roll for the past ten years. We, as internet users,  have made it easy for them by not taking the threat seriously. It is time that all facets of legitimate industry, internet giants, government and cybersecurity tech companies join forces and start working together, to combat this ever increasing threat. We need a coordinated effort to plug the holes not only in our devices, software, and apps, but also in our  behavior as well.


We need laws that hold data aggregators, including credit rating companies, accountable when they fail to protect our data. We need them to make us whole when their mistakes cost us our financial future.  We need laws that prohibit data gathering without our permission put in place. I know that this may sound anti-business, but asking permission to keep your data on file is not only a safety measure, its just the right thing to do. 

Courtesy of Wikipedia

As a marketing company we care how safe the internet is for users and vendors. If you want the internet to be a safe place to do research, shop online, to be able to have the freedom to surf the web to your heart's content, you need to write your congressmen and senators demanding that a national program be created that unifies all the cybersecurity players under one roof. This will produce a more unified defense against this internet scourge. Remind them that you are an engaged voter and that you are concerned that they are doing nothing. If you don't know how to write them, here's some help from WikiHow. Without your voice of protest, little will get done. Make sure your voice is heard. Share this article with your friends, family and co-workers and ask them to write their representatives as well. Write them today. It only takes 15 minutes to make a difference. I take full responsibility for the protection of my data. I hope you make it your responsibility as well.

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.


This article discusses the massive problem of weak cybersecurity and the ever increasing number of massive data breaches that puts all  our financial data at risk. A list of current solutions is included. Every American needs to get actively involved by taking responsibility and by demanding that our government launch an initiative to unify all internet players to come up with better ways to protect our privacy and financial data. Our freedom depends on it. This blog also provides many links to dozens of related articles and includes a link to the accompanying BlogTalkRadio show for this episode.


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If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. I recommend checking out the links on the blog, along with checking out other related articles on our Show Notes Page.  Also, don’t forget to listen to the BlogTalkRadio show on this subject. If you have a related useful comment or opinion about this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog. Also, don’t forget to share us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success” and the co-author along with his business partner Carl Weiss of their hit book also called “Working the Web to Win.”


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