Officials say hackers targeting with Matthew power outage emails

Credit: WWLP
Credit: WWLP

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – While all eyes have been on Hurricane Matthew, state officials say you should be keeping an eye on your online accounts.

In a press conference Saturday, Governor Nikki Haley warned hackers are targeting people through emails about power outages from the storm.

“They started to receive some calls that this was happening, and what they saw was it was a hacker that was trying to get into normal emails and so it was just precautionary to make sure that we got the word out,” said Governor Haley.

The emails are directing people to click a link for the latest power outages, but once you click, hackers can get inside your computer.

It’s something experts aren’t surprised to see.

“Any time you see anything that’s of semi national significance that affects a lot of people, it is really easy to craft something quickly to get it out there,” Doug Cone, Null Variable Web Consulting owner, said. “It’s evolving more and more rapidly because there is more and more money to be made.”

From there, they can access your information or scam you for money, according to local experts.

“This is a lot easier to fall for. It is something that you are actually looking for, something that you want and something you may have already researched,” Cone continued. “There’s a lot of money to be made there and it’s easy. It costs them nothing to hack your computer that way and email.”

Governor Haley warns if you don’t know who sent the email, delete it and don’t click any links.

“Best thing you can do is keep antivirus very up to date, the latest version,” Cone added.

South Carolina’s cyber team has been tracking the storm email hackers. The team is led by SLED and the National Guard to watch cyber security around the state.

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