Lufkin computer security expert says world conflicts raises risks of hacking

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - As technology increases so do the risks.

"All these things are becoming more like computers, and the more we ask them to do, the more they become like computers and the more that become susceptible to malware and virus attacks," said Tim Leonard, the Commercial Bank of Texas chief information officer.

Attacks that are being launched from a dark place on the Internet.

"We use cyber-terrorism when there is a geo-political role to it," Leonard said.

These places are all connected to current world conflicts.

"It's what we call hactivists," Leonard said. "They're online. It's called the Internet Syrian army. They have been responsible for a lot of denial of service attacks."

"We've known for a long time that there is a lot of stuff coming out of Russia and The Ukraine and as that whole situation has intensified, so have the online attacks," he said.

Leonard said all these attacks can go straight to your bank account.

"Once that personal computer is compromised, all that data on the computer is compromised," he said. "Your password for Facebook and Internet banking are all in the hands of the bad guys at that point."

Leonard says doing things like making sure you have the latest version of Windows or Mac operating systems plus installing all updates will keep your device safe. But the best protection is an active virus update

"They purchased it, but then didn't want to pay the $69 for next year and it's been out of date for three or four months," Leonard said.

Tips that experts say can keep East Texas data out of hands from terrorist on the other side of the world.

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