Cyber criminals targeting corporations

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Olivia Storey

The past few years has seen some crippling cyber hacks to large corporations and companies, including Tesco Bank, Yahoo!, the NHS, and websites like AdultFriendFinder.com.

Cyber-attacks can come different forms, such as:

·         DDoS attacks - which is the type of attack that disrupted the host of sites like Twitter, Netflix, PayPal, Pinterest, and the PlayStation Network.

·         Data theft - where customers’ data and personal information is stolen for personal gain of the hacker.

·         Ransomware - which we have seen most recently with WannaCry and EternalBlue, which locks personal files and demands a ransom for the release.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cyber-attacks, as there are so many types of Malware, and cyber criminals are finding better and smarter ways to gain access and commit digital crimes.

When Tesco Bank was targeted, more than 40,000 customers had money taken from their accounts. The suspicious transactions were carried out over the course of a weekend, and thousands of people were left out of pocket.

Obviously, Tesco Bank has since dealt with the situation and returned all lost monies, however, we ask Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, why scams like this are so popular and the best way to keep your financials secure.

“Banks are a very desirable target.

“Scamming individuals has relatively small rewards, but if you can target the bank at source the rewards could be massive.

“This is not the first time we have seen direct hacking attempts for major banks in the UK, and with more and more people embracing online or mobile banking we will see these types of hacking attacks becoming more successful.

“Banks, like law enforcement, will suffer thousands of failed attempts on a regular basis, but it only takes one successful hit to cause so much inconvenience for hundreds or thousands of users.

“As cash seems to be used less and less, our lives are becoming more digital, even small payments these days are often covered by cards or mobile payments, if you increase the footprint you increase the risk.

“Keeping your financial details as safe as possible depends on a number of factors.

“Online banking often has many features to keep your money safe, and you should utilise as many as possible. Of course not writing down any of your details, being mindful of who you give information too, and making sure you verify anyone who says they are from your bank should be done in all cases.

“If your bank offer 2 Factor or 2 Step verification then you should utilise it if possible. Whilst most banks will do all they can to return any monies lost, this often will depend on their perception of your own security in using their services.

“If they can prove you were negligent in protecting your account then you may find it harder or in some cases impossible to get your money back.

 

Did any of the mentioned breaches affect you? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

 

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