CHARLOTTE — The Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Roy Cooper and Mecklenburg County leaders issued warnings about potential cyberattacks from Iran.
Service delivery manager at Cloverhound and cybersecurity expert Austin Lutz said Iran constantly engages in cyberwarfare against the U.S. and is always looking for a way in.
“Over the past 48 hours, we’ve noticed an uptick in the intelligence community in cyberattacks coming from Iran directly to the U.S., which is exponentially higher than what we would normally see,” Lutz said.
In the past, Iranian cybercriminals have attacked banks and casinos and wiped the computer servers of a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company.
Primary targets are educational institutions, government entities and utility providers, according to Lutz.
"Any time you can infiltrate a utility or something that is government-backed that provides resources to the community, you have a higher likelihood of causing more damage," Lutz said.
Internet users should always be on alert, he said.
Lutz suggests people use a password protection tool that uses two-factor authentication and make sure computers and cellphones have the latest software installed.
"You've got to practice common sense," Lutz said. "You've got to practice your own security on your own time to ensure your emails, your phone, your contacts, your pictures are all protected."
Mecklenburg County management issued a warning to employees, according to a county spokesperson. Employees were told to be vigilant and report suspicious emails and attachments.
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