Latest Cyber Attack Hits Australia

The first global ransomware cyber attack to hit businesses in May was Wanna Cry, which at the time was considered the biggest ever ransomware attack to hit 150 countries and more than 200,000 computers. It was certainly a wake-up call for businesses, especially small businesses that had not updated their security, nor had any cyber insurance.

Australia however was very lucky in this instance purely because of the time-zone difference. Businesses in Europe were hit on a Friday, when Australia had already shut down for the weekend, and employees couldn’t open compromised attachments and spread the malware. Also, there was so much media coverage about the cyber attack over the weekend that workers were vigilant when they returned to their offices first thing Monday morning.

At the time of WannaCry, chief technology officer of McAfee Asia Pacific, Ian Gip, warned us that there could be a subsequent attack. This brings us to the second cyber attack in as many months – Petya. Did Australians count their blessings and prepare for a second cyber attack? Well, it seems not. Although Petya was mainly prevalent in Russia, it still managed to carry out 2000 attacks. This time Australia was not so lucky:

Australian staff at global law firm DLA Piper were informed that the company had been the victim of a ‘major cyber incident’.

The Cadbury chocolate factory in Hobart was also a target, as was AP Moller-Maersk in Australia.

Like WannaCry, the Petya virus spread malicious software, however it did differ from typical ransomware as it didn’t just encrypt the files, it actually overwrote and encrypted the master boot record. Both attacks demanded a ransom in bitcoin in order for the victim to recover the files.

It is pretty apparent that cyber attacks of this nature are difficult to stop, even in large global firms. Hackers are very good at making emails look like they’ve come from a credible and trusted source e.g. from another employee in the organisation. An email from your boss may not be from your boss at all and it could contain a link or attachment that you don’t think twice about opening, and once opened it will infect your computer.

The only way to ensure your business can keep trading after a cyber attack is by having a good cyber insurance policy in place. Contact Coverforce Leed Insurance Brokers today to find the best cyber insurance solution for your business before the next cyber attack targets your business.