The online world was shocked by news of cyber-attacks across several countries. A cyber-attack is defined by deliberate exploitation of computer systems, technology-dependent enterprises and networks. Hackers use a malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data, resulting in disruptive consequences that can compromise data, including identity theft.
The first attack happened in Ukraine and Russia last May and then spread to Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Spain, Britain, US, India and some businesses in Australia. This was caused by the WannaCry ransomware which asks users to pay a US$300 ransom in bitcoins. A ransom note is also sent indicting that if the victims fail to pay the ransom, it will be doubled in three days. In case of failure of payment, the encrypted files are deleted.
A ransomware is malicious software which blocks access to a victim’s data and threatens to publish or delete it until a ransom is paid.
Another attack happened last Tuesday, June 27, 2017 which affected dozens of countries including banks, government sites and private companies. Maersk, a global shipping company in the US, posted on Twitter saying that it was one of those who were affected by the cyber-attack and that some of their services are “not operationally effective.”
As per Assist America, Ukraine suffered the worst hit as flight operations, metro system, national rail network operations, banks, the Parliament as well as the radiation monitoring system of Chernobyl’s nuclear plant were all affected by the attack.
Ukraine has also said that it has proof that the Russians were involved the cyber- attack. Moscow was quick to shun the allegation saying that it was “unfounded.” Ukraine police was reported to have received almost 1,000 messages regarding the hacking over the 24-hour period while there were about 150 companies who filed official complaints to them.
Maersk, a global shipping company, posted on Twitter saying that it was one of those who were affected by the cyber-attack and that some of their services are “not operationally effective.”
This time, Pertwrap, a Petya-based ransomware, was the cause. The virus carries a sample of Petya ransomware v3 and uses Petya to infect the victim’s computer. Similar to the WannaCry phenomenon last May, victims need to first purchase a code to unlock their computers.
Assist America suggests the following in order to prevent attacks on your devices:
- 1. Install and update the latest operating system in your devices
- 2. Avoid storing personal information on your devices and sharing it online via email
- 3. When doing transactions online, avoid storing your payment information (credit card info, etc.)
- 4. Frequently back-up the important documents in your device
- 5. Avoid doing purchases using public Wi-fi connection
- 6. Check your bank statements for suspicious charges
- 7. Install identity protection programs
If your device is already affected, the following steps are recommended:
- Report the fraud/attack as soon as you detect it to your bank to secure your accounts
- 1. Check your online accounts to block fraudulent access and modify credentials
- 2. Disconnect the device from Wi-fi connections, cable, internet
- 3. Do a malware scan to your device to be able to repair your affected files. Restore factory settings or wipe clean the device and install the latest operating system
According to SGV&Co, sixty percent of the surveyed firms (with a total of 1, 735) in the Philippines do not have a security operation center and have zero or informal threat intelligence programs. More than 50% of the survey participants have yet to experience a cyber-attack and about 25% of those who experience one were not aware of the extent of the damage to their company.
With these recent cyber-attacks and the extent of financial damages they have caused, it is uncertain as to when they will stop. Another good prevention measure is to purchase a Cyber-insurance product for your company.
With Malayan’s cyber-insurance product, the company aims to protect your company from risks associated with e-business, the Internet, networks and information assets. It is intended to cover a variety of both liability and first party losses that may result when a business engages in various electronic activities, such as selling on the Internet or collecting data within its internal electronic network. The company intends to cover the non-tangible assets including data information, and non-tangible third party property damage or emotional distress without physical injury (i.e. identity theft out of breach of data privacy) arising from computer system breach.
For more information about Malayan’s Cyber-Insurance product, click here.
Written by Patricia Landingin.