Cyber AttacksPosted By: Hayley Monday 19th February 2018
Cyber-attacks pose a real threat to businesses and individuals, so it’s important that you do what you can to protect your business. The vast majority of ransomware attacks are initiated by Phishing emails directed at individual email accounts, and are not hackers with the intention of leaking valuable documents. These Ransomware attacks are executed by opportunist individuals or organisations targeted on one principle, which is to extract money from the victims.
The Dark web, which is not accessible by individuals without the skill and knowledge provides a labyrinth or various money making opportunities in Cyber-crime. These range from scams to the more ferocious Ransomware attacks. The unfortunate outcome is that the servers that carry these encryption codes are constantly shut down by Cyber authorities, therefore the encrypted codes are no longer available. Ransom is paid but unfortunately the codes rarely work due to the servers being deleted. The Criminals that use this cyber space exchange currency in BIT COIN, therefor it is never traceable and the value of a Bit Coin is comparable to an ounce of gold.
These are a few basic tips that Lanesystems would recommend to users, unfortunately there is never a 100% solution to protect yourself from cyber-attacks apart from not using a Computer.
- Run Windows update and install all the required updates
- Make sure your antivirus product is a full version and not Free
- Make sure your Antivirus is working, up to date with the latest virus definitions and run a scan
- Make sure any spam filters are turned on in your email software
- Make sure you are backing important data up but not connected to your local network or machine. If it is make sure you are able to disconnect it when the backup finishes.
- Restore your backups periodically to ensure its working
- Off-site backups are crucial! Make sure they work!
Phishing emails are designed by fraudsters to appear as if they have been sent by banks, credit card companies, government departments, online stores, auction sites, and other trusted organisations.
Some phishing emails actually warn you of a virus and invite you to click on a link or open an attachment to protect yourself. Phishing emails attempt to trick you into either:
- Clicking on a link to visit a hoax but authentic-looking website which either requests confidential information or is infected with malware
- Opening an attachment disguised as a legitimate file such as a document but actually contains malware
Phishing emails often display some of the following characteristics, but as fraudsters become smarter and use new technology, the emails may have none of these characteristics. They may even contain your business or an individual’s name and address.
- The sender’s email address may be different from the trusted organisation’s website address
- The email may sent from a completely different address or a free webmail address
- The email may not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting such as “Dear customer”
- It may contain misspelt words and poor grammar
- A sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed
- A prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website
Even an email from a trusted source may actually be a phishing email if the sender’s account has been hacked.
How to avoid Phishing emails
- Do not open attachments from unknown sources
- If in doubt, contact the person or organisation the email claims to have been sent by
- Do not readily click on links in emails from unknown sources
- Do not respond to emails from unknown sources
- Do not make purchases or charity donations in response to spam email
- Do not reply to unwanted email
- Do not unsubscribe to what you think may be phishing emails. This may in itself lead to a hoax website Need further information?