Cyber Account Takeover

Episode ID S1E05
May 20, 2020

CoBank’s Fraud Wise helps you avoid becoming a victim of fraud. In this episode of Fraud Wise, we’re talking about malware and the risk of account takeover, potentially locking down your systems, stealing customer data and taking funds from your accounts.


Hello, this is CoBank’s Fraud Wise, helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

We’ve talked before about malware and the very great dangers it carries – including locking down your systems, stealing customer data and taking funds from your accounts.

Malware can be installed on your computer through a variety of means, and avoiding these attacks is your front-line cyber-fraud defense. In this episode of Fraud Wise, we’ll talk about each of these attack vectors.

The most common way malware is installed on a victim’s computer is through a spam email, which may look very similar to a legitimate message. The fake email includes an attachment or a link, that, once accessed, triggers the installation of the malware without the user’s knowledge. Educate your employees to avoid opening attachments or clicking on links received by email unless they are CERTAIN the email is legitimate. This includes carefully checking the sender’s email address.

Malware could also be installed onto your computer through malicious websites, and these are not always obvious. For example, you could accidentally visit a site that looks legitimate but is in fact fake. Before clicking on any link within an email or unknown website, carefully confirm the site’s address.

External flash drives can also deliver malware to your computer, so you should only use flash drives provided to you by trusted sources.

Finally, you can expose yourself to malware by allowing remote access to your computer, such as for technical support. Before allowing anyone to access your computer remotely, make sure you’re talking to a legitimate professional by contacting them yourself, using a known or confirmed phone number. Never give access to someone who called you.

At a system level, be sure to have strong firewalls and virus protection. And since malware is, by nature, hidden, run frequent, comprehensive virus scans to identify and remove any dangerous programs that may have slipped through a crack in your defenses.

This has been CoBank Fraud Wise, helping you protect against fraud.