Henrietta, N.Y. - As we get more connected online, we become more vulnerable to cyber hackers.
“We're entering into a new world of cyber military,” said R.I.T. Assistant Professor of Engineering Andy Meneely.
Meneely said cyber attacks are triggered by vulnerability.
“Software makers make a mistake in code and hackers exploit it,” Meneely said.
Sometimes what we see online looks too good to be true.
Recently, many people spotted a post supposedly by Southwest Airlines on Facebook offering free tickets by clicking a link.
The offer looked real to Jeff Blanchard.
“My daughter called me one night at about 10 o'clock and said, ‘Dad you're Facebook account has been hacked,’” Blanchard said.
“She had received 13 hits from me on her Facebook for free Southwest tickets.”
Meneely said cyber theft will always be a problem, but he stresses the need for experts to design secure software.
R.I.T. has a new department devoted for just that.
“I'm studying those bugs, those vulnerabilities that are being exploited,” Meneely said. “Looking at what developers could have done to prevent it, how it could have been found before releasing software.”
Meneely says we don't need to live in fear; we just need to be careful and use common sense.
Blanchard said he learned a lesson from all this.
“If you're not sure what it is, just delete it and get rid of it,” Blanchard said.
Southwest Airlines says it is aware of the spam messages.
The airline says it urges customers to check offers on its website; www.southwest.com.