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Why Your Company's Money May be at Cyber Security Risk


Jim WoodhillTRC Operating Company Inc. drills and operates oil wells in the Central Valley. Based in the small Kern County town of Taft, you'd think it would be off the radar for thieves. Especially crooks from Ukraine.

But not so. Cyber crime is unaffected by geography as TRC has found out to its nearly $300,000 regret.

The company - and its bank, United Security Bank of Fresno - were the targets of cyber thieves since traced to the Ukraine, a former Soviet bloc country.

But ripping off TRC for just under $300,000 is only a small part of a bigger problem, says James Woodhill of Houston, Texas, an expert in thwarting cyber crime.

He testified earlier this month at the House Committee on Financial Services' Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises' hearing on "Cyber Threats to Capital Markets and Corporate Accounts."

He says there is an epidemic of attacks against the bank accounts of American churches, school districts, public libraries, and small businesses.

"Your money's not safe in the bank," says Mr. Woodhill. "It's not safe in the bank if you bank online using Microsoft Windows."

He says that's because Windows is a target for cyber thieves who use malware to access bank accounts and other private information. Macintosh systems are less of a target, he says, because of the smaller market penetration of that operating system.

(James Woodhill offers his strongly-stated opinions about the problem and offers suggestions to small businesses about what they should ask their local bankers before it's too late in today's exclusive CVBT Audio Interview via Skype.

Please click on this link to listen now or right-click [Ctrl-Click for Mac users] on the link to download the MP3 audio file for later listening.)

If you lose personal funds to a cyber thief, chances are you are protected. But Congress has never extended the same protection to small business, Mr. Woodhill says.

Often the only recourse for the victim company is to take their bank to court, such as the lawsuit TRC has filed against United Security.

Source: CVBT, CentralValleyBusinessTimes.com