26 September 2023

Cyber-crime wave targets information

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The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has warned the public that cybercriminals are targeting them at an unprecedented level.

“They are stealing sensitive information and money, including through business email compromise and ransomware attacks,” the ACSC said.

“Business email compromise occurs when criminals exploit trust by impersonating employees or companies through email to fraudulently obtain money or goods.”

Launching the next stage of the ACSC’s Act Now Stay Secure cyber-security campaign, Assistant Minister for Defence, Andrew Hastie said the consequences of cyber-crime could be catastrophic for businesses, families and individuals.

“In the 12 months to 30 June this year, around 4,600 reports of business email compromise have been made to the Australian Cyber Security Centre,” Mr Hastie said.

“Of these, around a third reported financial losses totaling approximately $81 million.

“Email is a very common tool for the delivery of ransomware attacks, with phishing messages sent to potential victims containing malicious links or attachments.”

He said compromised email accounts could also be used by cybercriminals to send fraudulent emails to the business’ customers, or steal sensitive information leading to the victim being blackmailed.

“There are things everyone can and should be doing to protect themselves and their email accounts,” Mr Hastie said.

“They should use complex passwords and multifactor authentication, back up their data and keep a copy offline, and not click on suspicious links.”

The ACSC has released new email security guides to help prevent email compromise and advice to help victims recover from an email attack.

“There are also easy step-by-step guides on securing your email accounts, to help people protect themselves,” Mr Hastie said.

More information can be accessed at this PS News link.

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