PGA Ransomware and Website Security on Tech Talk with KTRS

The great sports city St. Louis was busy last week hosting the 100th Professional Golf Association of America (PGA) Championship at Bellerive Country Club. The tournament was the buzz of the entire country, city, and of our weekly Tech Talk segment on The Big 550 KTRS. Guy Phillips was on location at Bellerive and joined the show via call to chat with our IT expert, Jeff Groby, about the PGA Ransomware attack and the dangers of not using a secured connection online. 

PGA Tournament Cyber Attack

Last week, cyber criminals unleashed a ransomware attack on the devices of PGA officials and held graphics and other website visuals hostage. The cyber criminals requested that an undisclosed amount be paid in bitcoin for the safe return of the organizations marketing files. The good news is, the cyber attack did not impact the actual events of the PGA Championship.

Reports are suggesting that PGA of America is unwilling to pay the ransom and has their own IT team working to resolve the issue and identify the criminals. It seems that cyber criminals take joy in adding disruption to large events. Anyone else remember the Olympic Destroyer malware attack from the Winter Olympics earlier this year? As Jeff mentioned, these criminals are more than likely just some people who are bored and causing disruption for the sake of causing trouble.

With Guy on location at Bellerive in St. Louis, it was the perfect opportunity to put the spotlight on the PGA ransomware attack while on the air. We kicked off Tech Talk by sharing our insight on the attack before diving into our weekly topic.

Unsecured vs. Secured Websites

Not all websites are created equally. In fact, websites that have been deemed secured sites have a significant advantage over unsecured sites. A few years ago, Google started favoring secured websites over non-secured. Sites that locked down their content with an HTTPS connection over HTTP received a significant boost from the search engine leader. This was only the beginning of Google's quest to provide end users with a secured connection.

This summer, Google began marking non-HTTPS websites as unsecured with the latest browser update for Chrome. Close to 60% of people use Google Chrome as their preferred web browser. Google hopes that because of the popularity of the browser, this will help to educate users about their connection and shame websites into becoming compliant. When using Chrome, it pays to pay attention to your search bar to check the security of your connection.

Website Security Advice

  • Do check whether your web browser has labeled a website secure or unsecured. Always use HTTPS and never HTTP.
  • Do update your web browsers regularly. This helps you to stay up-to-date on the latest security features.
  • Do share this information to educate your employees, family, and friends.
  • Don't enter personal information into an unsecured website. This is just grounds for welcoming identity theft into your life.

Online security is something that effects everyone. Whether you're working with an internet connection on a large scale like a business or just surfing the web at home, secured connection is the way to go.

In Case You Missed It: Tech Talk Updates

Tech Talk Presented by SumnerOne

All the excitement from the PGA Championship and a great topic made for another successful week of Tech Talk. Tune in this Friday afternoon at 4:20 to catch our next segment on The Big 550 KTRS. We will be live in the studio to talk about common device exploits, including faxploits! Questions about the services SumnerOne has to offer, give us a call. Check out the full video from last week down below.






 Originally published August 17, 2018, updated February 12, 2019


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