Jersey City, New Jersey (PressExposure) January 13, 2010 -- Local school districts across the United States have emerged as a prime target for cyber-criminals. In the fall of 2009, districts in Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania all reported thefts of tens of thousands of dollars each due to a cyber-crime wave. The threat continues: on January 5, 2010, the Duanesburg, New York Central School District disclosed an attempted theft of $3.8 million, about a quarter of the district's operating budget.
These crimes have been driven by malicious software infecting central office PC's containing the district's electronic banking details. These details were subsequently used by cyber-criminals to access the district's online bank account and illegally transfer money out of the account to money-mules, who subsequently transfer the funds to the criminal ringleaders.
Comodo CEO Melih Abdulhayoglu commented on this threat in a video blog post entitled Schools Hacked: Students and Taxpayers Lose, where he points out the soft-target characteristics of school districts and similar organizations including local governments, not-for-profit-organizations, and small businesses that make them attractive to cyber-criminals. Abdulhayoglu further points out the need for much stronger "Default Deny" PC endpoint security to be deployed by organizations that will always appear to be soft targets relative to larger organizations with the personnel and financial resources to mount stronger cyber-defenses.
Comodo Internet Security offers "default deny" PC security, where unknown/untrusted applications are denied access to PC resources by default, effectively preventing malicious programs such as those being targeted at local school districts an opportunity to infect and execute. Available in both 32 and 64 bit versions, Comodo Internet Security offers easily affordable, full endpoint security protection and administration.