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Connecticut's 'Fusion Center' aims to fight back against hackers

The state's leading cyber squad has been staying busy all summer and there is no end in sight.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — The state police headquarters in Middletown houses an array of vital departments paramount to the security and safety of residents across Connecticut.

There is one office inside the sprawling complex that has been especially busy this summer – it is known as the “Fusion Center” or CTIC.

The CTIC, which is an acronym for the Connecticut Intelligence Center, was created for cyber experts from across the state to collaborate and share information about threats like hacking and ransomware.

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“We are probably going to have more ransomware attacks this year than we did any other year previously,” Dave Palmbach, one of the intelligence analysts at the CTIC Fusion Center, told FOX61.

Palmbach said hackers looking to scam everyday citizens are also on the rise.

“We have a lot of people just getting hit with scams, thousands in Connecticut alone just getting hit for $500, $1,000,” Palmbach said. “My biggest advice for protecting general citizens is just double check… just slow down, take your time and make some calls.”

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Another useful tool Palmbach recommended is the website “Have I been Pwned,” which he said can tell if an email account has fallen victim to data breaches and backs.

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It is expected that the busy workdays at the Fusion Center are here to stay as foreign hackers and ransomware attacks continue to target people in the state.

“I would be really happy if one day I woke up and there was nothing for me to work on, but I am going to be here for a while,” Palmbach said, later adding: “We (at the Fusion Center) are all working together for the greater good, it’s absolutely going to keep us safer.”

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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