UK Bolster Defences Against Cyber Attacks | Stats Show All Time High for Cyber Attacks | Fake DocuSign Phishing Scam

January 31st

Article by Christopher Lauder, Delegate Relationship Executive, Rela8 Group

UK Bolster Defences Against Cyber Attacks

First up this week, organisations in the UK are being urged to bolster their defences amid fears cyber-attacks linked to the conflict in Ukraine could move beyond its borders. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued new guidance, saying it is vital companies stay ahead of a potential threat.

It’s important to mention however that the NCSC said it was unaware of any specific threats to UK organisations. This warning follows a series of cyber-attacks in Ukraine which are suspected to have involved Russia, which Moscow denies.

In June 2017 Ukraine was the epicentre of an incident with global repercussions. Hackers got inside software used to file tax returns. Companies were then hit with ransomware. Western governments would later say Russian military intelligence was responsible and that the real intent was not to profit but disrupt and blame it on criminals. Russia denied any role in this and other attacks.

In that case, the attack spun out of control as the malicious software spread beyond Ukraine's borders. International companies, including many in the UK, found their operations crippled.

"At one point around a fifth of the world's merchant shipping fleet was being controlled by WhatsApp because their computer systems weren't working," recalls Ciaran Martin, who ran the NCSC until 2020. The global cost was estimated at $5-10bn.

In the USA, the NSA is telling all organisations - regardless of sector or size - to take urgent steps to reduce the likelihood of a damaging attack, and for anyone working with Ukrainian organisations to take extra care.

Source - UK To Bolster Defences - BBC News

Source - UK To Bolster Defences - Reuters

Source - UK To Bolster Defences - The Guardian

Source - UK To Bolster Defences - Financial Times

Stats Show All Time High for Cyber Attacks

Thanks to the millions of Log4j attacks as the year drew to a close in December, figures reached a record-breaking peak of 925 cyberattacks a week, per organisations, globally.

This comes from a report by Check Point Research, who found that these attacks were a major contributor to the 50% increase year-on-year in overall attacks per week on corporate networks for 2021.

This 50% increase in December is a complete contrast to the figures from two months prior in October 2021, which saw a 40% increase and showed that 1 out of every 61 organisations worldwide had been hit by a ransomware attack each week.

The report from Check Point goes into further detail. For example, education and research was the sector that experienced the highest volume of attacks last year, averaging 1,605 attacks per organisation every week. The second highest targeted sector was government and military, which saw 1,136 attacks per week. The communications sector came up third with 1,079 attacks per week per organisation.

Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks, with an average of 1,582 weekly attacks per organisation. APAC was second and saw a 25% increase in weekly attacks per organisation, averaging 1,353 weekly attacks. Third is Latin America with 1,118 attacks weekly who experienced an increase of 38%.

Source - All Time High For Attacks - Threat Post

Source - Check Point Research - Report

The education and research sector experienced the highest volume of attacks last year, averaging 1,605 attacks per organisation every week
Check Point Research

Fake DocuSign Phishing Scam

Finally, Microsoft has discovered a widespread phishing campaign that has targeted organisations in Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand, with warnings that this campaign could come to the U.S, Canada, and EMEA.

The goal of this phishing campaign is to steal employee Microsoft Office or Outlook usernames and passwords. This campaign doesn’t work if staff have to use MFA to log in.

The victim will receive an email saying they have been sent a DocuSign document that they need to read and sign. By clicking the link that is supposed to take them to the DocuSign, they are taken to a fake page where they need to enter their login details for Outlook or Office.

The hacker then uses the compromised email account to message others with a supposed document about a payment. Those who click on the payment document also have to put in their login details on a fake Office page.

Many have been falling for the initial fake DocuSign email. As such, it’s important that everyone remains vigilant and on the lookout for these phishing campaigns.

Source - Fake DocuSign Scam - ITWorldCanada

Source - Microsoft Phishing Warning - Microsoft

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