Cybersecurity Company Alert – Ransomware Attackers in Pennsylvania

July 14, 2021

Scott Gingold, Chief Visionary at Lehigh Valley Technology commented “There is a plethora of cyber incidents in the Lehigh Valley but few of any make the local media. I urge business owners to have their technology systems examined by experts from a cybersecurity company for potential weaknesses.” Scott provided additional cybersecurity advice in his editorial column in the Morning Call newspaper on June 9, 2021.  In that article he provides the following tips:

It was inevitable that hackers would begin to enter small businesses in Pennsylvania. The Famous Smoke Shop has made it public that they are a victim of a ransomware attack, and their website, store and lounge is currently closed. The attack took place over the July 4th weekend when hackers scrambled their company data and offered to unscramble the data for an undisclosed amount. The company is refusing to pay the ransom as they work to unscramble the data internally. This latest attack highlights the need for cybersecurity company expertise in the daily management of your business.

  • Do not allow employees to have their passwords written on notes on their computers or visible on their desks.
  • When a disgruntled employee is terminated, change all passwords they utilized.
  • Change your passwords every 90 days. Use a password management tool, such as LastPass to manage the task.
  • Educate employees to bring any questionable emails to your attention, even if you appear to be the sender.
  • Hackers can send emails that appear to be from upper management.
  • Have a dark web scan done for your business to determine if your secure information is being sold on the dark web.
  • Keep appraised of methods hackers utilize to gain access via news outlets and develop policies and practices to reduce your risk.

LehighValleyLive.com  reported on the incident July 12th and no new updates have been received at this time. The Famous Smoke Shop is a cigar store and smoking lounge that has a 35,000 square foot humidor. It has been in business for over 82 years. It is unclear if the attack is related to a rumored sale of the company as reported in the Cigar Authority article from September 11, 2020.

Scott Gingold is president and chief visionary officer of Lehigh Valley Technology Company and the President of the Executive Forum of the Lehigh Valley.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding your business cybersecurity.