Cyber-attacks – What can happen if you open that spam email!

Cyber-attacks – What can happen if you open that spam email!

It has come to our attention that there is a new batch of significant and sophisticated virus software (malware) doing the rounds and everyone should be as cautious as possible.

There are a number of different types of malware. These can be aimed at causing malicious damage, ransom demands, revenge and denial of service, phishing (trying to get personal information) and identity theft.

One of the new batch is sent as an email with the sender posing as a genuine associate or business which may trick you into clicking a link and downloading an executable, which when inadvertently run will lock your files up and demand a ransom.

Commonly observed scams are often disguised under well-known brands and some examples include Australia Post, Banks (NAB, Westpac, St George etc.), ATO and FedEx.

What action should you be taking:

  • Utilise anti-spam filters
  • Utilise antivirus and malware software where possible and ensure the definitions are as up to date as possible.
  • Educate & train all your users regarding the risks.
  • Do not open any email that you are unsure about. When in doubt call the sender of the email to confirm the email is legitimate or contact your system administrator.
  • If you receive an email from a bank or government organisation, never enter in any passwords, personal or banking details.
  • Where ever possible try to avoid utilising hyperlinks embedded in emails and instead type the legitimate web address directly into your applicable web browser.
  • Make sure you maintain full backups of all your data. Ensure you have a backup cycle of multiple tapes and regularly test to ensure your backups are functioning correctly. Make sure that copies of your backups are keep offsite.

The costs, lost revenue and general impact of a cyber-attack can be significant. We recommend that you consider taking out suitable cyber protection insurance to cover for any loss or claim that may arise from a cyber or malware attack.

*Correct as of October 2014

*Disclaimer – this article has been produced by Kreston Stanley Williamson as a service to its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas contained in this article, it is imperative you seek specific advice relating to your particular circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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