Ferris State University Professors Talk Cyber Security After Texas Attacks

The head of the Ferris State University Cyber Security and Data Science Program says the cyber attack in Texas is the largest coordinated attack ever.

“In many cases, it’s just to create chaos,” said Greg Gogolin, the head of the Cyber Security and Data Science Program at Ferris State University.

He says most ransom ware attacks come from emails, but not always.

“Since there are so many governments involved, city governments involved, it’s possible that it could be through a third party like a software package that may be common for all of the cities,” said Gogolin.

So what exactly is a ransom ware attack?

“It encrypts the drive that all the data’s on so your computer no longer works and then they will sell you theoretically a key that will open it back up,” said Gogolin.

Governments are increasingly becoming targets.

“It could also be because perhaps they’re inadequately staffed or resourced to react to that,” said Gogolin.

But the state of Michigan is prepared with the Michigan Cyber Civilians Corps.

“Kind of a unique collaboration of industry professionals in the cyber realm, universities that are logistically divided up by areas to be commissioned or called out as incident responders for mass cyber events in the state of Michigan,” said Jim Furstemberg, a professor at Ferris State University, but also the leader of this group for northern Michigan.

“We meet once a month. We have training exercises yearly. Very similar to perhaps like a national guard but it’s for cyber,” said Furstemberg.

Both Greg and Jim say some of the best ways to stay safe are by having valid backups of your information and never clicking on suspicious email attachments.