The first major cyber attack of 2019 came in the first week and its victim was tram operator Luas.
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The Luas Attack
On the morning of Thursday the 3rd of January a message appeared on the Luas website stating “You are hacked”.
The message continued: “The next time someone talks to you, press the reply button you must pay 1 bitcoin in 5 days otherwise I will publish all data and send emails to your users.”
The hacker claimed to have been in contact with the tram operators previously regarding the “security holes” and received no reply.
The hacker then demanded a ransom of 1 bitcoin, the equivalent of €3,400 euro on that day, and threatened that if the ransom was not paid within 5 days they would publish confidential data and send emails to Luas users.
Since the cyber attack, the Luas website has been taken completely offline. In its place is a temporary website, with little to no content. Luas users are advised to follow the Luas twitter page for live updates.
This highlights that there are significant knock on effect after the initial incident response. There will be costs involved setting up a new site, making sure affected systems are in quarantine, potential losses to your gross profits and also representational damage.
To summarise, when there is a cyber-attack, there can be a long road to recovery. When attacked, your network, website and data may all be exposed and be at the mercy of your hacker.
Growing concern for Irish Businesses
Cyber crime is becoming increasingly prevalent in Ireland and the hackers don’t care what size your business is. The smaller your business is the more likely you are to have less stringent cyber security than large multinationals.
Once a hacker discovers a weakness in your website you may face an attack and ransom request. Ransomware attacks can be well disguised and come in the familiar form of a Microsoft document to your email.
“These are primarily spreading via email where they appear to be a Microsoft document (word, excel). The Ransomware will attack any server or computer which does not have adequate protection and this includes web servers that host websites and applications.” – Ronan Murphy, CEO of Smarttech 247 (The Irish Examiner)
Cyber Security Insurance
Companies should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Cyber insurance offers you and your business protection against external hackers as well as internal data breaches, whether they’re intentional or accidental.
If you are interested in getting cyber insurance you are in the right place. For more information, visit our Cyber Insurance Page or get in touch with a member of our team by email or phone: Contact Page
The Irish Examiner – Over 3,000 Luas users may have had records compromised in cyber attack