FBI Honolulu
Honolulu Media Office
(808) 566-4300
August 10, 2022

FBI Honolulu Launches Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign

HONOLULU, HI—The FBI Honolulu Field Office has launched a cybersecurity awareness campaign to educate private sector businesses and organizations in Hawaii about the growing threat of cyberattacks, and to encourage businesses to establish a proactive relationship with FBI Honolulu before a cyber incident occurs.

“FBI Honolulu is committed to investigating and combating any malicious cyber activity targeting the private sectors. In addition to agents, analysts, and computer scientists who track and counter emerging cyber threats, we work closely with our law enforcement and cybersecurity partners throughout the state,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “We encourage you to partner with us to serve as force multipliers to protect our country’s cyber defenses and your assistance in working together to strengthen your organization’s response plans against cyberattacks.”

Current Cyber Threats

  • Critical Infrastructure Attacks: The private sector controls most of the country’s critical infrastructure, intellectual property, and personal data, making large businesses and small corporations targets of cyber-attacks. While nation-state threats remain the most significant threat to critical infrastructure because of their persistence, sophistication, and potential for destructive intent, ransomware attacks by cyber criminals have already targeted U.S. critical infrastructure, including emergency services, hospitals, and the energy sector.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malicious software that cyber criminals and nation-state actors often deploy after they have hacked into a victim’s computer to encrypt their data. These bad actors then demand payment of a ransom to unlock the encrypted data. The FBI has observed ransomware attacks become more targeted and has seen the ransoms increase significantly in recent years. When a ransomware incident occurs, swift communication with the FBI could positively impact data recovery efforts. Through victim engagement, the FBI develops a greater understanding of the different variants and ransomware groups to help prevent future attacks.
  • Supply Chain Attacks: A business’ cybersecurity is only as strong as that of its trusted vendors. The FBI warns companies to know that supply chains are increasingly a point of vulnerability for computer intrusions.

If your organization is the victim of a network intrusion, contact FBI Honolulu at (808) 566-4300 or the FBI’s 24/7 CyWatch at (855) 292-3937 or cywatch@fbi.gov. Speed matters when responding to an intrusion, as criminals can quickly destroy network operations. Rapid notification allows the FBI to quickly deploy our cyber experts to preserve evidence and work with a company’s incident responders to help recover their networks.

In addition to partnering with FBI Honolulu, the most vital step a company or organization can take to protect itself is to implement good cyber-hygiene practices.

Preventive Steps

  • Update and patch operating systems and software.
  • Implement robust access controls, especially for privileged users.
  • Monitor security logs.
  • Audit trusted third parties or others with access to systems and sensitive data.
  • Require personnel to choose a strong, unique password for each account and use multifactor authentication for as many services as possible. Passwords should be changed regularly.
  • Educate personnel about phishing schemes to highlight the risks of clicking on suspicious links, opening suspicious attachments, and visiting suspicious websites.
  • Keep offline backups of data, and regularly test backup and restoration capabilities. Ensure all backup data is encrypted and immutable.
  • Develop a cybersecurity incident response plan that includes the FBI. If compromised, contact the FBI immediately.
  • If you believe someone has compromised your systems, beware of signs of compromises such as broken passwords, myriad pop-ups, slow-running devices, altered system settings, or unexplained online activity.

Businesses and organizations can contact the FBI Honolulu Field Office at (808) 566-4300. Internet crimes can be reported at www.ic3.gov and other suspicious criminal activity at tips.fbi.gov.