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Holidays are the busiest days for hackers. If you use your phone to transfer money, or make purchases, hackers probably have your banking information.

If you text or email holiday greetings to family and friends, hackers likely have a copy of your contact list.

Hackers can use Bluetooth to hack into your smartphone and take it over to send emails and text messages containing phishing links to your contacts.

The Android platform is vulnerable to security flaws that are constantly in need of patching. Apple's iPhones are not much safer.

Phones owned by US State Department employees and other government officials were hacked with spyware called "Pegasus" that was developed by an Israeli technology firm.

Pegasus was on their phones for months or years before it was discovered. Apple now says it will notify users whose iPhones were hacked by spyware.
 

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5 Signs your cell phone is hacked

1. Apps on your phone that you don't remember downloading

If you notice strange apps on your phone that you don't remember downloading, delete them immediately.

2. Your phone runs slow or it feels hot in your hand

A slow phone may be a telltale sign that you've been hacked. If your phone runs hotter than it did before, it could mean apps are running in the background.

3. Your phone crashes often

This can happen if your phone is old or you haven't updated your operating system and apps. But if you have a new phone that crashes often, you're probably hacked.

4. Unusual data spikes or high bills

Someone is controlling your phone if your bill is high but your usage hasn't changed.

5. Pop-up ads

There are no pop-up ads on Sandrarose.com. If you notice a lot of pop-up ads, you're probably hacked.
 

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How to protect your phone from spyware, malware and hackers

1. If you suspect your phone is hacked, change all your passwords immediately and lock your phone screen with a password. Set the lock screen time to 1 minute.

2. Backup everything - including all images and contacts, then restore your phone to its factory settings to remove pop-up ads.

3. Turn off your Wi-Fi or tethering connection to prevent the hacker from using your data to send messages.

4. Instruct your family and friends to ignore suspicious texts or emails that contain links. Tell them you will always let them know before you send links.

5. Run anti-virus or anti-trojan software to remove the malware.

6. Never leave your phone unattended or let anyone use your phone.

7. Turn off Android's Nearby Share feature.

Nearby Share allows users to share files between Android phones that are nearby. Someone with the feature enabled can simply hold their phone close to yours to steal all your files without your knowledge. Nearby Share is disabled by default when you buy your phone.

8. Disable AirDrop on your Androids, iPhones, iPads and Macs.

9. Never open links in a text message or email on your phone or tablet. Even if you know the person who sent it.

10. Always delete apps you don't use. Hackers can purchase old apps and use them to take over your phone.

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JBS USA, the world's largest beef supplier, shuttered all of its meat processing plants after a ransomware attack affects its IT systems around the world.

JBS USA announced the ransomware attack on Sunday evening. The company supplies 24% of the nation's meat. Tyson Foods is second at 22%.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating the ransomware hacking that affected the company's facilities in the United States and Australia.

The USDA contacted several major meat processing plants in the United States to ensure the supply of meat will continue on pace. The government hopes to prevent a meat shortage that could lead to Americans hoarding meat.

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CBS Evening News

JBS closed meat processing facilities in Utah, Texas, Wisconsin, and Nebraska and the ransomware hack affected late shifts at Iowa and Colorado plants on Tuesday night.

The ransomware attack on JBS USA is similar to the cyberattack that shut down Georgia-based Colonial pipeline and sent gas prices soaring last month.

Colonial regained access to their IT systems by paying $5 million ransom in Bitcoins to the hackers.

Hackers, usually based in Russia and Ukraine, gain access to corporation's IT systems when an employee unwittingly clicks a phishing link in emails.

The phishing emails are designed to impersonate companies and individuals known to corporation employees.
 

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Walmart claims an "external bad actor" sent offensive emails from its servers to multiple Walmart customers.

The person used knowledge of Walmart's IT system to create new accounts using other people's email addresses.

The person replaced the first and last name with the racial slurs "Ni**er" and "Coon."

One UK woman complained to @Walmart's official Twitter account about receiving one of the emails.

"Woke up this morning to this email in my inbox.

Somebody set up a #Walmart account using my email address with the first and last name N****r C**n.

Surely Walmart should have something that flags such words?"

See an example of the offensive email here.

In response to the breach, a Walmart spokesperson said its internal system was not hacked.

"We discovered that an external bad actor created false Walmart accounts with obvious intent to offend our customers. We were shocked and appalled to see these offensive and unacceptable emails."

The company assured that no more offensive emails will be sent from its servers, CBS reports.

Earlier tis year, Walmart pledged to donate $14 million to various charities as part of a commitment to ending racial inequality.

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Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid $5 million ransom to a hacker group within hours after a cyber attack forced its pipeline to shut down.

Bloomberg reports Colonial paid hackers $5 million within hours after the pipeline was attacked by ransomware on Friday.

Colonial repeatedly denied paying any ransom to the Russian hacker collective Darkside. However, Bloomberg confirmed via inside sources that the ramson was paid "within hours" of the cyber attack.

Colonial pipeline resumed partial operations late Wednesday after paying the ransom to unlock its computerized pipeline system.

The pipeline has already delivered over 1 million gallons of gasoline to stations in southeastern states. However, officials warn that the pipeline won't be fully operational until early next week.

The Washington Post reports that Colonial was "extorted" by the hacker group which threatened to release the company's data unless a fee was paid. The fee was $5 million.

Once the ransom was paid, the hackers provided Colonial with a decryption tool to restore its computer system.

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Florida, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina declared states of emergency as residents panic buy gasoline, leading to gas shortages.

Gas prices soared and fears of a nationwide shortage caused people to panic buy gas after a cyber attack shut down a major gas pipeline over the weekend.

The national average for retail gasoline was $2.985 on Tuesday -- the highest since November 2014.

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Panic buyers lined up outside gas stations in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 11. Some drivers walked up with gas cans after bypassing stations that were closed.

The FBI has confirmed that Russian hacking collective DarkSide is responsible for the ransomware cyber attack that crippled a Georgia-based fuel pipeline.

Colonial Pipeline, which is operated out of Alpharetta, near Atlanta, is the largest pipeline on the East Coast. It runs from Texas to New Jersey and transports 45% of the East Coast's fuel supply, including gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel.

Colonial officials announced it shut down the pipeline out of an abundance of caution after discovering the ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks a company's data and threatens to delete the data unless a ransom is paid, typically in Bitcoin.

The attack is unleashed after an employee unwittingly clicks a phishing link in an email that impersonates an individual or company known to the employee.

Hundreds of major corporations and even hospitals have been hit by ransomware cyber attacks over the years.

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Cyberhackers have doubled their ransom demand to $42 million to unlock celebrity files on a law firm's compromised servers.

The hackers also threatened to reveal "dirty laundry" on President Trump if their demands are not met by next week, Page Six reported.

Hackers illegally accessed the computer systems of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, a law firm based in New York City that represents a long list of high-powered VIPs, corporations, A- and B-list celebrities and pro athletes.

An unsuspecting employee may have clicked a phishing link, giving the hackers access to the company servers.

The hackers then downloaded over 756 GIGs of data including contracts and personal e-mails, according to Page Six.

The hackers demanded $21 million to unencrypt the data. That ransom has now doubled to $42 million.

When the law firm's founder, prestigious celebrity attorney Alan Grubman, refused to pay the ransom, the hackers claimed they would publish President Trump's dirty laundry.

"The ransom is now [doubled to] $42,000,000 … The next person we'll be publishing is Donald Trump. There's an election going on, and we found a ton of dirty laundry on time.

"Mr. Trump, if you want to stay president, poke a sharp stick at the guys, otherwise you may forget this ambition forever. And to you voters, we can let you know that after such a publication, you certainly don’t want to see him as president … The deadline is one week.

“Grubman, we will destroy your company down to the ground if we don't see the money."

The long list of clients include Drake, LeBron James, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand, Nicki Minaj, Mike Tyson, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Spike Lee, Lil Nas X, and many more.

The law firm also represents corporations, including MTV, HBO, EMI Music, Playboy Enterprises, Spotify, and more.

The police are powerless to help the law firm because the hackers are based in Russia or some other far flung communist country that doesn't cooperate with U.S. law enforcement.

The police usually advise hospitals, municipalities, and corporations that are hacked to pay the ransom or lose all their files.

Some companies back up their hard drives and databases on the Cloud or at offsite digital storage facilities that can't be accessed by hackers. But the hacking group deleted the law firm's backup files.