It isn't over yet...

June 17 2020
Simone Caron, IFPC

It isn’t over yet... People all over the world are breathing a small sigh of relief as a plan of action has been put into motion, allowing us to get back to a slow normality. Although there is still some confusion regarding UK to Ireland travel and tourism, business owners are rearing to get up and running again. Zoom has become the center of attention in the cyber security world. Although Zoom has experienced a record number of downloads, they have come under fire for the lack of security measures as well as sharing data without notifying users. Zoom has since addressed these concerns and have implemented a new policy. The firm currently has eight data centre regions: the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, China, Latin America, and Japan/Hong Kong which users are able to opt in or out which data centres that your data is routed through. Zoom chief executive Eric Yuan admitted that in rushing to meet demand during the coronavirus lockdown some security best practices were bypassed. Is this new policy enough to cover all of the security gaps? Zoom has since required that all users password protect their meetings, preventing unknown users from joining the meeting (known as Zoombombing).Zoom has also implemented a mandatory “waiting room” allowing the owner of the meeting to review the user before allowing them to join the meeting. Users that found themselves victim to zoombombers, were also being inundated with offensive messages, shared using the “screen share” option, previously made available to all participants has now been defaulted to only a meeting admin feature.

The Platform has made significant changes and is secure enough, unless you are sharing exceptionally sensitive information.

A Cork cybersecurity company, SmartTech24/7 is “absolutely swamped”combating online fraud since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chief executive Ronan Murphy commented on the situation saying, “Obviously, with Covid-19 it is unique, what it has done is, it has completely changed and disrupted the global workforce, meaning that organisations have had to completely change the way they allow users to access their systems, access collaboration tools, the devices they work off, VPNs, and that is presenting such low hanging fruit to criminals and the volume and escalation of hacks have just gone through the ceiling.” SmartTech has been monitoring open forums on the dark web to get ahead of the cybercrime trends.

The cyber security company has noted a significant increase in phishing campaigns and email fraud pretending to offer news updates regarding the pandemic and use the opportunity to steal users personal and log in details. These emails are also claiming to sell in-demand items such as hand sanitizer and facemasks, using it as a vehicle for fraud.v An international organised crime gang has made thousands of euros by making fraudulent social welfare payment aimed at assisting those who have lost their jobs due to COVID19. The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) has raided their house in Castleknock, arresting the men who have also stolen more than €20million as part of an Airbnb scam and have laundered €6 million through Irish bank accounts.The garda also confiscated seven fake passports and €10,000 in cash.

These are the 13th and 14th arrests made by detectives in their massive money-laundering investigation against the gang.The first member acting as a mole - assigned for driving and other duties, and the second member was one of the senior members of the gang.v Many of the gang members are from a Romanian city which has been nicknamed 'Hackerville' after over 80 of its inhabitants were arrested as part of an EU crackdown on the mob. The two arrested members have ties to the city, carrying out thousands of organised frauds in other EU countries and then using Irish financial institutions to launder the cash.

The Silver Terrier Group has also fast become infamous among government officials and essential workers after launching more than 170 phishing emails targeting these essential organisations. The Australian government claimed that the Nigerian mob is actively attacking home computers and state and federal government agency networks to steal identities and money. The gang aims to target employees with access to company funds through the compromised accounts of senior management. Usually, they will try to convince the target to transfer money into a bank account controlled by the attacker claiming it is an urgent end-of-quarter payment.

As phishing attacks continue to affect remote workers, Assured Cyber Protection have created a quick, informative article to provide increased cyber awareness. The information includes what to look out for in emails that could indicate potential fraud. Because of the rapid shift to home work, many previously defended employees are now highly exposed. It is vital that they are equipped to defend their home and business networks. You can read the article here.

We see it as our duty to keep you informed of these scams taking advantage of the vulnerable and overwhelmed. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed.

Cybercrime, scam,  phishing, cyber security