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Jul 14, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued an alert on a Critical Vulnerability in SAP NetWeaver AS Java. An unauthenticated attacker can exploit this vulnerability through the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to take control of trusted SAP applications. SAP has released a...

Jun 16, 2020

Dear Washingtonians!

A lot has been in the news lately about bad actors taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, including imposters filing for unemployment benefits across the country using personal information obtained from large scale breaches.

While imposter fraud is a serious problem, it represents only a small part of the overall threat. Sometimes we spend so much time on the pressing issues in front of us that we don’t stop to consider the bigger picture. Instead, we...

Jun 12, 2020

WaTech's state Office of Cybersecurity will regularly post screenshots of phishing emails (see below) our Security Operations Center is seeing to help computer users identify, and delete, suspicious emails before they can cause damage.

Phishing tips

The most common way computer systems become infected with malware...

May 27, 2020

WaTech’s state Office of Cybersecurity is receiving reports of fake SecureAccess Washington (SAW) phishing emails that attempt to trick people into providing their account credentials.

In the example below, users are told they have 24 hours to correct inaccurate information or their SAW account will be restricted.

SAW administrators will never send an email asking users to verify details in their account or threaten account suspension. They also will never ask for a user’s...

May 26, 2020

The FBI is warning that cyber criminals are targeting teleworking employees with fraudulent termination phishing emails and video teleconferencing (VTC) meeting invites, citing COVID-19 as the reason.

 

The emails try to lure victims into clicking on malicious links by offering to...

May 14, 2020

Dear Washingtonians!

I hope you all are doing well, staying home and staying healthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone. However, I am cheered by early signs that conditions are improving in Washington state. Gov. Jay Inslee recently announced his Safe Start plan, a data-driven approach to reopening the...

May 13, 2020

For many people in Washington state, and across the country, public Wi-Fi has become a digital lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Pew Research, more than one-in-four adults do not have broadband internet access and – with the closure of public gathering spaces including libraries and cafes – are increasingly going to areas where public signals are still available to stay connected.

Washington state is...

Apr 27, 2020

Criminals are hard at work trying to steal money being sent to taxpayers under the federal CARES Act. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is urging taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of fraudulent calls and email phishing attempts related to the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. Taxpayers should watch out not only for phishing emails but also text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information.

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Apr 27, 2020

Washington State Chief Information Security Officer Vinod Brahmapuram participated in a...

Apr 08, 2020

Now more than ever, we need to be vigilant looking for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). WaTech's Office of Cybersecurity is monitoring all activity and will share the latest news, updates and resources on this page.

Latest news

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an alert reminding individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious...

Mar 26, 2020

In the confusion and chaos surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy to overlook the fundamentals of cybersecurity. With the sudden influx of virtual meetings occurring in tandem with the dramatic increase in teleworking across the United States, security has become more important than ever.

To address this issue, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)...

Feb 24, 2020

BELLINGHAM – Students might be surprised by the variety of careers available in the public sector and should strongly consider working for government, state Chief Information Security Officer Vinod Brahmapuram told a cybersecurity class this week.

The state Office of Cybersecurity (OCS) made a daylong visit at Western Washington University on Feb. 19. OCS was there to congratulate a team of students – Chase Warren, Jack Stratton, Grant Barton, Ben Paros, Josh Stuifbergen and Charles...

Feb 11, 2020

Dear Washingtonians!

When watching Super Bowl 2020 earlier this month, I was struck by how Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took his team from 10 points behind with only nine minutes left to win the game 31-20. It was a masterful performance that exemplified his ability to set emotions aside and do what was needed to defeat his opponent.

I see a commonality between the challenges Mahomes overcame for his team and a new information security threat that’s using...

Feb 04, 2020

News reports indicate threat actors are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak in new phishing email campaigns. 

Threat actors are using public fear to increase the likelihood that users will click on a link or open an attachment.

In one campaign, the phishing email reportedly impersonates the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning...

Jan 21, 2020

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Jan 16, 2020

Dear Washingtonians!

Welcome to CISO Compass, a new monthly column where I will share key insights related to cybersecurity. 

Education is integral to information security. It is my goal that this column will increase awareness, stimulate broader discussion in the community, and help generate new ideas to combat ever-escalating cyber challenges.

With the New Year comes new hopes, dreams and aspirations. To me that begs the question: What does the cyber community see...

Jan 14, 2020

Tax season is in full swing and criminals are going to great lengths to steal your identity and tax refund.

Scams include fake websites and tax forms that look like they belong to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to trick you into providing your personal information.

You should always take steps to minimize your risk of identity theft and other online-related crimes, but this is especially important during tax season.

The...

Dec 10, 2019

Online shopping continues to grow, now representing more than half of all purchases during the holidays.

Unfortunately, hackers are taking advantage of this trend and victimizing shoppers.

Being aware of the risks and knowing how to take appropriate action is important. One wrong click while shopping online this holiday season could make you...

Nov 15, 2019

Vinod Brahmapuram, the state Chief Information Security Officer, appeared on TVW’s news show The Impact to discuss his views on information security and the role WaTech’s state Office of Cybersecurity plays in securing the personal information of Washington residents entrusted to the state. You can view the show on the TVW web site.

Nov 07, 2019

A team from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) won this year’s cyber escape room competition organized by WaTech’s state Office of Cybersecurity (OCS).

“We had a lot of fun. It was also a good team-building exercise,” said Brian Everson, WSP’s chief information security officer. “The escape room was a fun, positive way to go through a ‘work location’ and find the mistakes we can all make.”

The WSP team – Brian, Chris Anderson, John Fox, Brandon Garrett, Nick Angers and Sarah...

Nov 01, 2019

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Hacktober campaign!

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Sep 18, 2019

New studies by Pew Research show more than 80% of U.S. adults now own smartphones. A growing proportion – 37% – access the internet primarily through their devices.

Smartphones have made life easier not only for users, but...

Sep 17, 2019

Hacktober events are aimed at raising cybersecurity awareness for Washington state employees and encouraging conversation about the role everyone plays to safeguard public data and protect critical services. You are invited to attend and learn more about how to protect your workplace and your home against cyber threats. Please download our Hacktober calendar and share it with your coworkers.

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Jul 29, 2019

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and other national groups are urging organizations to take preventative action to protect themselves against a surge of ransomware attacks.

Local governments across the United States and overseas have been hit in recent weeks. Louisiana declared a state of emergency July 24 after three school systems were attacked with ransomware. Other targets have included the...

Jul 01, 2019

Summer is here and many travelers are busy packing cell phones, tablets and other connected devices into their luggage along with sunscreen and books.

Please keep in mind that cyber criminals are waiting for you to go on vacation as well.

They troll social media sites to learn who is traveling and have left their home unoccupied. They also tap public Wi-Fi networks to steal personal information and even place bogus charging stations in public locations to load malware onto...

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