E3 strives to be at the forefront of digital security and these types of attacks stress the real life consequences that happen when attacks succeed. The world of cyber security comes under threat from attacks frequently and often is thwarted or goes unpublished by the companies that are affected. These attacks often come with a low risk to the general public and are targeted at larger corporations or private companies. However, what recent attacks are helping demonstrate and bring to the general publics attention is the real risks that these attacks can have on our everyday lives.
This attack follows on less than a month from the NHS attacks which saw proportions of the NHS disabled, ultimately affecting the health care and experience of its patients and families that tried to access these.
These types of attacks are part of a larger matrix of targeted attacks with the aim of extorting money from the individuals that are affected by encrypting the systems and demanding a ransom for the access back to these, hence the term “ransomware”.
Even after payment, there is no guarantee that access or control will be given back to the user. So how can this be avoided?
One of the main ways that this type of attack is delivered and spread is by email and their attachments that then work their way through a companies information structure through multiple penetration points and embed themselves in the system.
So we suggest being vigilant both at work and at home to help yourselves and others.
Firstly – Check the email address to make sure you trust its origin. Hackers often use similar addresses to large organisations to try and deceive you. Check the ending, should it have .gov, .com or a country specific denomination at the end of the address?
Secondly – Scan the attachment if you have the facility, make sure the context to the attachment is in keeping with the email itself.
Thirdly – If you’re unsure don’t open it! Better to delete it as most companies will have multiple methods to get into contact with you and if it’s at work speak to your cyber security liaison. The sooner this type of cyber attack is discovered the less damage they can achieve.
Look out in our upcoming blog posts on more from us on how to safeguard you digitally.