Cybercriminals aren’t knocking at the front door of Northwest Arkansas. They’ve already let themselves in through the back window.
In what’s being called the global pandemic of cybercrime, it seems this region is not immune. Just take a look at some of the bigger hacks that have unfolded since Christmas: Target, The Home Depot, P.F. Chang’s, Goodwill Industries and Dairy Queen. All of them have franchise locations here in Northwest Arkansas.
And what’s really alarming is that a Ukraine-based hacker known as Rescator is associated with some of those hacks. According to a story published by Bloomberg Businessweek, at some point in the recent past, Rescator had 3,685 Fayetteville credit card numbers for sale.
And don’t forget about what happened in August. Community Health Systems Inc. of Tennessee was hacked by a group out of China, and the information for as many as 4.5 million patients was compromised.
The health-care chain operates six hospitals here and in the River Valley. Victims in Arkansas have been identified and have been provided with credit monitoring services and identity theft protection.
Do the math. Hackers stole credit card numbers during Christmas and looted the accounts of hospital patients. If those are the symptoms of the global hacking pandemic, than indeed it has arrived.