It’s most likely you got to this article by clicking a link in an email message. Fortunately, this message has been indeed addressed to you and actually sent by me, Gabriel Maftei, the author of this article, not by a malicious actor.
The bottom line is: you might have clicked a LINK from an email supposedly sent by me and supposedly legitimate, without making sure that it does not put you at risk!
Please read below, my advice might just contribute to your online safety
Following the inquiries I’ve received yesterday from several of my customers, I would like to outline the following issues (please observe as seriously and responsibly as you can)
As concerns the IT security issues, any UE or NATO member country is heavily being targeted from the East, during this sensitive period, being unanimously accepted that the Internet attack is an important component of the hybrid war.
Keeping this in mind, each of us shall act with extreme caution and adopt a “zero trust” mentality when it comes to IT issues (don’t believe anything until you cross-check)
Remember that each and everyone of us is a “soldier” engaged in this fight that can and will contribute decisively to its win or loss, by observing or ignoring a set of common-sense rules, now more than ever:
EXAMINE ANY EMAIL MESSAGE BEFORE OPENING IT !
check whether the sender’s address is legitimate and known by you (don’t let yourself tricked by the stated name of the sender, check the actual @ address behind it)
even when the address seems legitimate, any sender might have been compromised already and the message you are seeing might have been sent automatically by a virus, a script or a robot, in most cases without the sender’s knowledge (and of course, permission)
Thus, I am begging you! Please perform a common-sense analysis of the each message authenticity checking the following aspects:
1. time of delivery (eg: someone involved in the governmental sector will probably never send you a message at 2.00 am)
2. the actual content of the message – set you “mind bells” to warn you if a message you’ve includes:
references to ongoing political context/events
references to humanitarian crisis, requests for humanitarian aid
promise of unlikely profits (will only try to steal your bank/card information)
business propositions that “seem too good to be true” (they never are)
the absolute urge to do something (nothing urgent is required by some remote “friend” by means of email, right?)
threats of online or bank account deletion
requests for personal data
blackmail attempts by pretending the sender owns compromising or shameful materials featuring you (movie, browsing history, email messages etc)
the urge to click a limk to do “something” (payment, sing up, update your info etc)
attachments (in any format) that you haven’t expected from that particular sender
LET PARTNERS KNOW IF THEY ARE INFECTED!
Communication and information exchange are always welcome.
A legitimate sender might not even know he was compromised, so drop him a line to inform him.
Use an alternative communication channel (phone, for example) to contact the sender of the message, assuming you know him, to confirm the legitimacy of the received message (or drop him an brief email)
IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR HAVE THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT
– please contact me or another IT professional you are trusting and ask for a “second opinion”
“I ACCIDENTALLY CLICKED ON SOMETHING I SHOULDN’T HAD TO, BUT NOTHING EVER HAPPEND!”
Most of the times when someone clicks a malitios link, nothing (appearently) happens! A virus won’t shout out loud “hey, I’m infencting you!”, will do it silently in background, in the most discrete way possible, will create a security breach (about China size) in your system and your network and will wait for the right moment to mess things up!
Don’t forget that we are no longer living in the ’90, where the sole purpose of a virus was to infect or delete your files. To my knowledge, we live in 2022, where the information means strategical and tactical advantage, hence the viruses nowadays are mostly design to steal the information not to disable it.
Thus, whenever you “accidentally click on something”
DO NOT IGNORE THE FACT THAT YOUR SYSTEM MIGTH JUST BE COMPROMISE WITHOUT YOU EVEN HAVING THE SLIGHTEST CLUE!
Please consult your IT professional as soon as possible and request a full assessment of your computer/network (in most cases this person will know what to do – a complete antivirus and anti-malware scan, for a start)
Should you wish to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest security threats targeting your country please check only the official cybercrime defense authorities websites (for Romania, The National Deparment of Cybersecurity – https://dnsc.ro/)