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Microsoft Warns Android Users About A New Ransomware

Microsoft has warned about a new strain of mobile ransomware that takes advantage of incoming call notifications and Android's Home button to lock the device behind a ransom note.

The findings concern a variant of a known Android ransomware family dubbed "MalLocker.B" which has now resurfaced with new techniques, including a novel means to deliver the ransom demand on infected devices as well as an obfuscation mechanism to evade security solutions.

The development comes amid a huge surge in ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure across sectors, with a 50% increase in the daily average of ransomware attacks in the last three months compared to the first half of the year, and cybercriminals increasingly incorporating double extortion in their playbook.

MalLocker has been known for being hosted on malicious websites and circulated on online forums using various social engineering lures by masquerading as popular apps, cracked games, or video players.

Continuing reading the full article on The Hacker News website.

Treasury Department Issues Ransomware Advisories to Increase Awareness and Thwart Attacks

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence today issued a pair of advisories to assist U.S. individuals and businesses in efforts to combat ransomware scams and attacks, which continue to increase in size and scope. Anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations implemented and enforced by Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence may have implications for persons involved in facilitating ransomware payments. Efforts to detect and report ransomware payments are vital to prevent and deter cyber actors from deploying malicious software to extort individuals and businesses, and to hold ransomware attackers accountable for their crimes.

"Cybercriminals have deployed ransomware attacks against our schools, hospitals, and businesses of all sizes," said Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich. "Treasury will continue to use its powerful tools to counter these malicious cyber actors and their facilitators."

Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory, entitled Advisory on Ransomware and the Use of the Financial System to Facilitate Ransom Payments, to provide information on the role of financial intermediaries in payments, ransomware trends and typologies, and related financial red flags. It also provides information on effectively reporting and sharing information related to ransomware attacks.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) also issued an advisory, entitled Advisory on Potential Sanctions Risks for Facilitating Ransomware Payments, to highlight the sanctions risks associated with facilitating ransomware payments on behalf of victims targeted by malicious cyber-enabled activities.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Additional information and resources on cybersecurity from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Cybersecurity Alliance can be found here.

View the ransomware advisories from FinCEN and OFAC.

State of the State - January through April 2020

The first four months of 2020 have gone nothing like envisioned and can be labeled as unprecedented in many ways.  The first four months also have to be labeled as impressive.  The staff at Citizens State Bank have acted with grit and determination to accomplish some amazing feats during pandemic conditions.

This State-of-the-State will recap the Bank's efforts and reactions during COVID-19, the highlights of the Bank's performance from January through April 2020, and the procedural response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 - Customer Focused Response:

  1. With the formation of a COVID-19 task force, an emphasis was placed on aiding customers through the pandemic.  The focus was on how to help them achieve their banking needs, providing support through hardship, and helping to quell anxiety and fear through education.

  2. Citizens State Bank continued to uphold its mission of developing long-term relationships based on trust by handling customer needs through an individualized approach centered on creating a solution based on the customer's needs.

  3. The Bank proceeded with offering Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, a program under the CARES Act.  At the end of April, the Bank had processed 46 PPP loans for just over $1.8 Million with an additional 32 PPP loans in process for an additional $624,000.  That money is infused back in the communities of Cadott, Cornell, and Chippewa Falls to aid businesses and their employees.

Mortgage Lending:

  1. During the first four months of 2020, mortgage interest rates have been volatile.  Rates have lowered significantly creating a prime opportunity of refinancing for customers.

  2. The Mortgage Banking team held true to the Bank's mission by partnering with clients to help them through this process. 

  3. Customer traffic and demand rose significantly and, by the end of April, the Bank had processed 134 mortgage-related loans for just under $14 million.  This equates to helping with 134 transactions in real estate for customers in Cadott, Chippewa Falls, Cornell, and surrounding areas which vitalizes and strengthens our communities.

COVID-19 - Procedural Response:

  1. The Bank took quick action in forming a task force to monitor and address the pandemic issue in early March.

  2. On March 12, 2020, the Bank published internal communication about the pandemic and heightened precautions to staff to keep the team and customers safe and healthy.

  3. Further communication followed on March 16th and forward.  The communication enacted new sanitation, travel, internal process, and lobby closure procedures and guidelines in efforts to further enhance safety and aid in "stopping the spread".

  4. By the last week of March, the Bank had developed a systematic approach to handle potential exposure and diagnosis and created work zones within the Bank as well as created communication channels to keep staff updated on internal responses and COVID-19 happenings. 

  5. Throughout April, the Bank has upheld the procedures and guidelines and will do so going forward until recommendations advise otherwise.

  6. The continued approach through COVID-19 has been to heed recommendations and make decisions based on the safety of the customers and staff.

Citizens State Bank is pleased to share these happenings with the communities and customers.  The Bank is honored to be able to serve the Cadott, Chippewa Falls, Cornell, and surrounding areas.  This is accomplished through the staff members that uphold the mission of developing relationships through individualized, personal service, and the loyalty of customers who continue to partner with their community Bank.

Thank you for letting us serve you!

CSB's Response to COVID-19

Citizens State Bank continues to monitor and pro-actively react to the recommendations concerning COVID-19 to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, and partners.  While the initial reaction to COVID-19 is hygiene and social distancing, the effects have been felt deeper and wider by business owners, workers, and more.  From this pandemic, the Bank has felt and seen the need of our customers.  We are here to help.

Citizens State Bank has been a trusted partner for 118 years and we will continue to be your trusted partner through COVID-19 and after.  We are working individually with our customers and community members to understand your needs and then find a customized solution to aid you through internal and external programs. 

If you are experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19, please contact a Banker today. 

Your Money is Safe and Sound in a Bank

Courtesy of the American Bankers Association, shared by Wisconsin Bankers Association

At times of uncertainty, one thing you can always count on is the safety of your money at a bank.

  • When you deposit your money at a bank, you get the comfort of knowing that your funds are secure and insured by the government.
  • You don't have the same level of protection when your money is outside the banking system.
  • Uncertain times are exactly when you want the certainty and dependability of a bank.

Banks have plans in place to handle a range of emergencies so our customers' funds remain protected and accessible.

  • Every bank in the country is required by law to have disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place with multiple backup systems.
  • The bank's regulator regularly examines the bank to make sure we have detailed, tested disaster recovery procedures and business resumption plans.
  • The safest place for your money is in the bank. It's FDIC-insured and accessible, thanks to bank technology that allows you to pay bills, make deposits, and send payments from anywhere, anytime.

Banks have a proven record of effective emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.

  • Throughout history, U.S. banks have been prepared for and responded to recessions, natural disasters-including pandemics-and other business disruptions.
  • When faced with natural disasters and unexpected events, banks have a proven record of operating smoothly, protecting consumers' deposits, and providing continued access to their funds.
  • Lessons learned from previous health threats-including the avian flu, SARS, and Ebola,-have strengthened the banking industry's ability to prepare for and minimize disruption due to a pandemic.

If you have any questions about FDIC Insurance or the safety of your money, please contact us immediately.

Paycheck Protection Program

Citizens State Bank is participating in the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by offering PPP loans to existing borrowers. This loan program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll.  The loan is forgivable if certain criteria are met. These loans will be available from April 3, 2020 to June 30, 2020. 

To inquire about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), customers are encouraged to call a Banker.  Citizens State Bank is working with each customer individually to understand their needs and then find an appropriate solution through internal and external programs.

Lobbies Temporarily Closed - Drive-Ups & Walk-Ups Open

In the everchanging landscape presented with the COVID-19 situation, we wanted to make you aware of some increased precautions, tools available, our commitment to helping our customers, and best practices during this difficult time:

  • Lobbies are temporarily closed for the safety of our customers and team members.
  • Drive-ups and Cadott main bank walk-up are open to serve you and meet your needs.
  • Tools and resources for banking at your convenience: telephone banking, online and mobile banking, mobile deposit capture functions, and e-statements. Our deposit team is ready to assist you with questions or help you utilize these tools. Please call for any help.
  • We are here to aid anyone impacted by COVID-19. Our focus is on understanding your needs to be able to create the best solution(s) to aid you. If you are experiencing the difficulty of any kind, please call your loan officer or our deposit team immediately.
  • Don't panic. We urge our customers to think about the safety of their money, we recommend:
    • Do not withdraw large sums of money. Money left unsecured can be lost, stolen, destroyed, and is not insured. Money in the Bank is covered by FDIC insurance. For specifics on this and to discuss your needs, please call our deposit team today.
    • Do not give in to scams. In difficult times, there can be the propensity for unsavory situations to arise. Be mindful of who you are talking with, what is being requested, and if it makes sense.

Our mission at Citizens State Bank is to develop long-term relationships built on trust. We have been your partner since 1902. Taking precautions and acting swiftly in a situation like this is our commitment to you! We greatly appreciate your business, trust, and relationship.

Please feel free to personally reach out at any time:

Tim Cruciani, President/CEO
715-978-0109 
tcruc@csbankcadott.com

How We Are Responding to COVID-19

Over the last few weeks, intensifying reports about the coronavirus (COVID-19) have emerged. At Citizens State Bank, we are committed to health and safety. The Bank is continually monitoring the situation and has an action team that has and is ready to act as necessary. We would like to make you aware of the following important information:

  • Customers: Citizens State Bank is still open for business. You, as our valued customers, are a top priority and we care about your safety and wellbeing. The Bank has tools and resources available to help you conduct the majority of your banking needs from the convenience of your own home. We are asking that whenever possible, you utilize our drive-up facilities, online and mobile banking, and mobile deposit capture functions. Also, please feel free to call our facilities for any help needed. This will help limit face-to-face interactions and keep everyone safe. If you need to come into the Bank for an appointment, rest assured we have precautionary measures in place for increased sanitation before and after your visit.
  • Office and Team Members: Up to now, the Citizens State Bank has implemented increased sanitation and precautionary measures. The Bank has also heightened its illness awareness and implemented policies to aid employees during this time. The Bank has regular, professional cleaning that occurs in conjunction with these new measures. You may also see staff utilizing conference rooms and other methods for connecting with customers in efforts to follow social distancing recommendations.

Our mission at Citizens State Bank is to develop long-term relationships built on trust. Taking precautions and acting swiftly in a situation like this is our commitment to you! We greatly appreciate your business, trust, and relationship.

Please feel free to personally reach out at any time:

Tim Cruciani, President/CEO
715-978-0109 
tcruc@csbankcadott.com

Citizens State Bank Opens in Cornell, WI

Citizens State Bank is set to open a new full-service branch office at 221 Bridge Street, Cornell, WI 54732 on September 4, 2019. The bank is a sound and secure financial institution which has obtained FDIC and Wisconsin DFI approval. Citizens State Bank is a locally owned, independent community bank servicing personal, business, and agricultural needs.

The branch office at 221 Bridge Street in Cornell has been renovated and branded to Citizens State Bank standards. Hannah Cowan, a Chippewa Falls native, will be leading the branch as the Business Development Branch Lead. Katrina Hakes, a Cornell resident, will be operating as a teller in the branch. There will be an additional team member as well.

Citizens State Bank was founded in 1902 in Cadott, Wisconsin. It was created by a group of businessmen, farmers, and workers to not only meet their financial needs but also foster the growth of their small community in Cadott. They are headquartered on North Main Street in Cadott with a drive-up location on South Main Street. In 1985, the company expanded to Chippewa Falls and opened a branch on the corner of Highways 178 and S. In 1995, another branch was opened at highways J and X in Chippewa Falls.

President/CEO, Tim Cruciani, says, "It is with absolute excitement that we pursue expanding into Cornell. We serve a base of customers from the area and our new branch makes us more agile and able to serve those customers with better care, accessibility, and efficiency". He also stated, "Citizens State Bank is on a mission to grow. We care about our customers and work to find the best solution for them by learning about them, their situation, and their needs and dreams. Growth allows us to continue this mission and help more people and communities".

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