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Homeland Security

Report Cyber Incidents

What You Need To Know

The growing number of serious attacks on essential cyber networks is one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces. An important way to protect yourself and others from cyber security incidents is to watch for them and report any that you find.

DHS has a mission to protect the nation’s cybersecurity and has organizations dedicated to collecting and reporting on cyber incidents, phishing, malware and other vulnerabilities.

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Incident Response Available. A cyber incident is the violation of an explicit or implied security policy. In general, types of activity that are commonly recognized as being in violation of a typical security policy include but are not limited to:

  • attempts (either failed or successful) to gain unauthorized access to a system or its data, including PII related incidents (link to the below description)
  • unwanted disruption or denial of service
  • the unauthorized use of a system for processing or storing data
  • changes to system hardware, firmware, or software characteristics without the owner's knowledge, instruction, or consent

Report Phishing. Phishing is an attempt by an individual or group to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques. Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take the user to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate.

We collect phishing email messages and website locations so that we can help people avoid becoming victims of phishing scams.

We encourage you to report any activities that you feel meet the criteria for an incident or phishing attack. Note that our policy is to keep any information specific to your site confidential unless we receive your permission to release that information.

Submit Malware or Report a Vulnerability. Malware refers to software programs designed to damage or perform other unwanted actions on a computer system. Examples of malware are viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware. DHS performs analysis of malware and software vulnerabilities and can provide actionable information on how to better protect information systems.

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Tips

Every computer and Internet user can play an important role in creating a safe, secure cyber environment. For example, today, web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari (to name a few), are installed on almost all computers. Because web browsers are used so frequently, it is vital to configure them securely.

Often, the web browser that comes with an operating system is not set up in a secure default configuration. Not securing your web browser can lead quickly to a variety of computer problems caused by anything from spyware being installed without your knowledge to intruders taking control of your computer.

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Last Published Date: December 17, 2013
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