Cyber criminals can damage their victim's computer systems and data by changing or deleting files, wiping hard drives, or erasing backups to hide some or all of their malicious activity and tradecraft. By wiping, or "zeroing out," the hard disk drives, which overwrites good data with zeros or other characters, the criminals effectively erase or alter all existing data, greatly impeding restoration. This sort of criminal activity makes it difficult to determine whether criminals merely accessed the network, stole information, or altered network access and configuration files. Completing network restoration efforts and business damage assessments may also be hampered.
The FBI and DHS encourage businesses and individuals to employ mitigation strategies and best practices such as:
The US-CERT Web page at www.us-cert.gov hosts a wide range of tips, best practices, and threat information for business and home users.
If you have been a victim of cyber crime, please file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.