Customer Education

A type of internet risk is Corporate Account Takeover

Corporate Account Takeover is an ongoing electronic crime typically involving the exploitation of businesses. Businesses that are more at risk are those with limited to no computer safeguards and minimal or no disbursement controls for use with their bank's online business banking system. These businesses are vulnerable to theft when cyber thieves gain access to its computer system to take confidential banking information in order to impersonate the business and send unauthorized wire and ACH transactions to accounts controlled by the thieves. Any customers that perform electronic transfers are potential targets. These thefts have affected both large and small banks.

This type of cyber-crime is an advanced form of electronic theft. Malicious software, which is available over the Internet, automates many elements of the crime including circumventing one time passwords, authentication tokens, and other forms of multi-factor authentication. Customer awareness of online threats and education about common account takeover methods are helpful measures to protect against these threats. However, due to the dependence of banks on sound computer and disbursement controls of its customers, there is no single measure to stop these thefts entirely. Multiple controls or a "layered security" approach is required.

Thus, with more services being offered online and more devices accessing these services security risks are elevated. By utilizing best practices for internet users, the risk can be greatly reduced. M C Bank takes great measures to protect and ensure security when it comes to our customer's financial data. Best practices for internet users are some techniques that can strengthen your safety and security within the online banking environment.Talk to your financial institution about products that offer an extra layer of security like call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes, batch limits and other tools that help protect you from unauthorized transactions. If you have any questions, please contact your financial institution.

Best Practices for Internet Users:

1. Passwords

  • Use strong passwords – Passwords should be complex, use long phrases and a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Keep passwords a secret and safe – Do not share passwords with anyone. Keep them in a secure place if written down.
  • Change passwords frequently.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts; never using the same password for business and personal accounts

2. Electronic Devices and Software

  • Keep software and electronic devices (i.e. Computer, smart phone, tablet etc.) up-to-date – Make sure the electronic devices and software are updated on a regularly basis. Regularly check that each of your computers has up-to-date software installed including operating system, personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and current browser. Ensure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is enabled and executing scans on a consistent basis. Use trustworthy internet tools to scan your browser for known weaknesses.
  • Install an antivirus software – Try to install an antivirus that can monitor and protect the computer from viruses, spyware, and malware. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spyware protection on your computers.
  • Be cautious with external media – external media like DVD, CD, and flash drives can have harmful viruses stored on them.
  • Do not use unprotected internet connections - (i.e. networks with no password)

3. Websites

  • Try to use websites that are secure.
  • Use encrypted websites – Encrypted websites have a closed padlock in the address bar or in the bottom right corner of the web browser.
  • Be cautious of downloading malware – Be careful of opening attachments or clicking on links in an email or on social networks.
  • Don't send sensitive information – Do not send sensitive information via the internet (email and instant messages). These methods can be intercepted and read.
  • Be cautious of phishing scams – Phishing comes in the form of an email that is trying get sensitive information like Social Security Number or accounts. M C Bank will never ask for account or personal information in an email. For more on Phishing scams please visit:
  • Don't use a public computer for financial transactions – Using a public computer or wireless connection may be unsafe. Always monitor your accounts for suspicious transactions.
  • Be cautious shopping online – Shop from respectable and trustworthy sites. Print or save a copy of any purchases made online.
  • Watch out for suspicious activity - do not open suspicious e-mails and never share account information.

4. Social Media Security Tips

  • Set the privacy and security settings on your social networking channels to a level that you are comfortable with for information sharing.
  • Be aware of how much personal information you post on channels. Private information should never be shared including date of birth and social security number etc. A hacker could use this information to steal your identity or access your data.
  • Do not publicize that you are on vacation or away for a lengthy period of time.
  • Do not click on hyperlinks within a post or text message if it appears suspicious even if you assume it is coming from a friend. Your friend's account may have been hacked or infected and could now be distributing malware.
  • Once you post information online it remains online. Guard your reputation by assuming everything you post online is permanent.

5. Victim of a scam? Act quickly

  • File a police report – Also report to the U. S. Federal Trade Commission @ or call 1-877-438-4438.
  • Close Accounts – Close any accounts accessed or opened fraudulently. Open new accounts with new passwords and PINs.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports – Contact one of the major U. S. credit bureaus so no financial institution grants new credit without approval. Make sure the other two credit bureaus are contacted. Get a free credit report and dispute any issues, such as accounts open with knowledge.

"Help Wanted" or "Money Mules" SCAMS

Criminals don't like getting caught. So, when they want to send and receive stolen money, they get someone else to do the dirty work. Some scammers develop online relationships and ask their new sweetheart or friend to accept a deposit and transfer funds for them. Other cons recruit victims with job ads that seem like they're for legit jobs, but they're not. Law enforcement calls the victims 'money mules.' If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

Scammers post ads for imaginary job openings for payment-processing agents, finance support clerks, mystery shoppers, interns, money transfer agents or administrative assistants. They search job sites, online classifieds and social media to hunt for potential money mules. For example, if you post your resume on a job site, they might send you an email saying, 'We saw your resume online and want to hire you.' The ads often say:

• the company is outside the U.S.

• all work is done online

• you'll get great pay for little work

If you respond, the scammer may interview you or send an online application. He does that to collect your personal information and make the job offer seem legitimate. At some point, the scammer will ask for your bank account number, or tell you to open a new account, and then send you instructions about transferring money.

If you think you're involved with a money transfer scam:

• stop transferring money

• close your bank account

• notify your bank and the wire transfer service about the scam

• report it to the FTC

If you're looking for work, check out the FTC's tips about jobs and making money and warning signs of a job scam.

Cyber Security - Ransomware 101

Ransomware Overview

Ransomware is a type of malicious software posing an increasing threat to both businesses and personal electronic devices. Ransomware encrypts files essentially blocking access to the file(s). Due to its effectiveness, ransomware is becoming the dominate form of modern crime ware. The only way to access the encrypted contents is via the decryption key and/or through data back-ups. Depending on the ransomware, specific files types may be encrypted. Ransom notes differ but essentially, they include a ransom amount, usually in bitcoin currency (digital currency), a timeframe for which payment must be made, along with instructions on how to make the payment.

Ransomware Delivery

Different variants of ransomware may try to encrypt as many files as possible, however, many encrypt specific formats of files (MS Office Files, images). Ransomware can be delivered via many forms, such as exploit kits, spear phishing emails, malicious links and drive-by downloads. One example includes an email which appears to be from an upper-level manager asking for the recipient to do something with the attachment that appears legitimate, but may be infected with malicious code or include malicious links. The recipient clicks on a link that appears genuine and suddenly realizes that files may become encrypted and are unavailable. The actor, or perpetrator, then demands a ransom payment and gives the targets a way to regain their data. The ransom amount is generally not large, averaging less than $1,000 US, but the number of incidents has risen dramatically in 2016, posting record growth in the first and second quarters.

The Ransom Payment

The FBI does not recommend paying the ransom. A payment of ransom does not guarantee that the perpetrator will allow access or send decryption details. Some organizations that paid the ransom demands never received the decryption keys afterward. There are others that believe that the value of the data that may be potentially lost outweighs the comparably minimal cost of the ransom. These organizations will pay the ransom after evaluating all options, realizing that they have an inability to function. There is no guarantee, however, that these organizations will receive the decryption keys after payment.

Prevention is Key

It is easier to prevent an infection or an attack than it is to clean one up. Best practice is to focus on defense and utilize several layers of security including:

• Operating systems and antivirus software should be kept up to date

• Employee education

• Files should be backed up and available to reload if necessary – backups should be stored in the cloud or on drives separate from the network

• Manage the use of privileged accounts – administrator level access should be minimized

• Have a plan and exercise it

Attack Mitigation

Being prepared is essential to reduce the effects of a ransomware attack. Here are tips on how to address ransomware post-attack:

• Isolate the infected system from your network.

• Restore files by using files from regularly maintained backups.

• Report the infection to the FBI.

• Report home infections to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

• Participate and share in an information sharing organization, such as your industry ISAC.


Be aware of how your network is configured and what software you use on a regular basis. By knowing what your system looks like and how it works, you will be able to identify problems when they occur. Here are some key recommended steps:

• Perform regular backups of all systems

• Know what is connected to and running on your network

• Use antivirus and anti-spam solutions

• Disable macro scripts in Office

• Restrict internet access

• Participate in cybersecurity information sharing organizations

• Create a solid business continuity plan


Ransomware infects computer systems throughout the world in ever increasing numbers. Outbreaks that use to be perpetrated by individuals are now being organized by criminal gangs. The future of ransomware seems to be bright and profitable. As it continues to spread through western countries, it will continue amassing money for its agents. Ransomware will continue to challenge authorities as it continues to mature, and distribution methods evolve. Law enforcement will need to double-down to continue to fight against this illegal money-raising scheme. As software developers continue working to fight the ransomware scam; hackers will be working to develop new and inventive ways to hook unsuspecting victims.