January 5, 2017 Minutes
Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Les Greer. Chip Hale gave the invocation, followed by Larry Sindel, who led us in song and the Pledge. Bill Oppenheimer accompanied on the piano.
Introduction of Guests & Visitors: Jeff Zoghby introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Student Guest: Saty Putcha introduced Ariel Scott from Mary G. Montgomery High School as our Student of the Week.
Announcements: Ken Niemeyer announced the expansion of the Free Libraries program. Also, it was announced that our Rotary Club raised around $450.00 for the Gatlinburg fire victims.
Program: Celia Baehr introduced Glenda Snodgrass as our speaker. Ms. Snodgrass is the Lead Consultant & Project Manager for The Net Effect. Her topic was “Ransomware Defense.”
Ms. Snodgrass opened by explaining that Cybercrime has become more profitable than the drug trade. It has reached the level of mafia directed crime. One of the largest areas of infiltration involves the health-care market. Unfortunately, the United States has more ransomware infections than anywhere else in the world. To make matters worse, 2017 is expected to be worse than ever.
The basic premise of ransomware takes place through a computer virus that hijacks your information, often through encryption or outright blocking your access to your records. Until you pay them a ransom, you are not able to access even the most vital records. You must “buy” a key in order to unlock access.
The virus can enter anywhere the internet can be accessed. One of the most popular entry points happens when an unexpecting user opens an email to read a resume from someone they likely don’t know, in answer to a legitimate job opening. In most cases, you would not be expected to know the sender.
Another thing requiring care is when a Word or Excel file asks you to enable macros. Any program that asks for access to change something on your hard drive should cause concern and extra caution. The massive increase in the use of the cloud has geometrically increased the challenges.
In addition to emails, access can be gained through “malvertising”, fake news stories and Trojans, such as fake Pokemon Go invitations. Another indication of an attack attempt would be a popup box in the middle of your screen…this is not where you would normally see a legitimate popup.
One of the best ways to defend yourself is to use secure, encrypted and verified backup programs. If you have a problem, you can wipe your source clean, then restore from a safe backup.
If you detect something, immediately unplug your network cable, and our power supply. In a laptop, for example, unplug and remove the battery. It is imperative to act quickly in order to prevent the attack from spreading to other sources. The next step is to call immediately for professional help. Also, the FBI has asked for these incidents to be reported to them.
Les Greer then thanked Ms. Snodgrass for her presentation and presented a certificate to her, noting that a donation in his honor had been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.
January 5, 2017 Minutes