FBI Springfield
Press Office
(217) 522-9675
October 5, 2023

FBI Springfield Warns of Constant Barrage of Cyberattacks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Springfield Field Office is marking Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October by directing attention to the ever-increasing number of Internet crimes and cyberattacks.

From the FBI’s perspective, cyber investigations inhabit two separate spaces. Internet crime, where individuals become victims of scams and Internet fraud; and cyber intrusions like ransomware and business email compromise that affect businesses and critical infrastructure.

“At a time when artificial intelligence is ripe for abuse and criminals attempt to exploit the technology, the FBI continues to be the lead federal agency responsible for investigating cyberattacks. And as threats change, the FBI changes with them,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “Cybercrime affects individuals and businesses alike, so by educating the public we hope to prevent victimization, and by partnering with the private sector we hope to strengthen defenses and develop powerful and sophisticated cyber solutions.”

The FBI has cyber personnel in all 56 field offices throughout the United States, responding to intrusions that affect not only U.S. critical infrastructure and big-name corporations, but also small businesses, schools, and local government services. Our response supports victims and allows us to learn how our adversaries operate and who they might target next. However, Internet crimes and cyber intrusions are constantly evolving and while the FBI is laser-focused on staying ahead of the trends, we recommend the following for individuals and businesses alike.

  • Do not open any email attachment or click a link unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address.
  • Be suspicious of requests for secrecy or pressure to take action quickly.
  • Keep systems and software up to date and install a strong, reputable anti-virus program.
  • Create a strong and unique passphrase for each online account and change passphrases regularly.
  • Use multi-factor authentication.
  • Examine the email address in all correspondence and scrutinize website URLs before responding to a message or visiting a site.
  • Be cautious about the information you share in online profiles and social media accounts.
  • Don’t send payments to unknown people or organizations that are seeking monetary support and urge immediate actions.
  • Beware of sudden changes in business practices with vendors or customers.
    • For example: If a current business contact suddenly asks to be contacted via their personal email address when all previous official correspondence has been through company email, the request could be fraudulent.
  • Businesses should create an incident response plan that includes a relationship with your local FBI field office.
  • Take time to read consumer and industry alerts provided by the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Illinois ranks 5th in the United States for the most Internet crime victims, and 7th in total victim losses at almost $267 million, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s 2022 Internet Crime Report. By victim count, personal data breach ranks the highest followed by non-payment/non-delivery and extortion. By dollar loss, business email compromise tops the list.

Expediency is crucial when reporting cyber incidents. Report cyber-enabled crime immediately by contacting FBI Springfield at 217-522-9675 or through the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Not only will this allow your complaint to be directed appropriately, but IC3 data has helped guide the FBI’s response to cyber-enabled crimes while educating the public and supporting local law enforcement with a searchable database of information.

For more information regarding cybersecurity, visit the FBI’s cyber page and scams and safety precautions.