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Cyber Attacks by Russians may target UK Elections, Warn Spies at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)

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Cyber Attacks, VOA

London, March 12, 2017: Spies at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have called an emergency summit with Britains political parties after warning them that the next general election is vulnerable to cyber attacks by the Russians.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), has written to leaders of all the main political parties offering expert help to strengthen network security, reported the Sunday Times.

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In his letter, Martin said: “You will be aware of the coverage of evnts in the United States, Germany and elsewhere reminding us of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system.”

He called a “technical seminar” on cyber-security for politicians.

“This is not just about the network security of political parties’ own systems. Attacks against our democratic processes go beyond this and can include attacks on Parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups and individuals’ email accounts,” Martin said.

Experts at GCHQ have made protecting the political system from foreign hackers as “priority work”.

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They fear that Kremlin-backed hackers could steal and leak internal emails or publish private databases of voters’ political views in an attempt to damage the standing of political parties with the public, according to the report.

A senior government source said GCHQ would help with the security of “personal datasets, including the electoral roll and voter identification data”.

Security officials stepped in after Russia was accused of helping Donald Trump win the US presidential ­election by hacking and publishing 20,000 emails from the rival Democratic Party.

Russia was also accused of infiltrating the German Parliament’s computer network in 2015. (IANS)

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Here’s How Cyber Attackers Compose BEC Attacks

Cyber criminals execute business email compromise attacks during business hours

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Cyber attacks on BEC
Over 90 per cent of business email compromise (BEC) cyber attacks take place on weekdays. Pixabay

Over 90 per cent of business email compromise (BEC) attacks take place on weekdays, with many being sent during typical business hours for the targeted organisation to make them more convincing, says a new study.

The research by US-based cyber security firm Barracuda Networks showed that 85 per cent of business email compromise attacks are urgent requests designed to get a fast response.

The average BEC attack targets no more than six employees, and 94.5 per cent of all attacks target less than 25 people, titled “Spear Phishing: Top Threats and Trends Vol. 3”.

“Attackers continue to find new ways to make business email compromise attacks more convincing, ultimately making them more costly and damaging to businesses,” Don MacLennan, Senior Vice President, Email Protection, Engineering and Product Management, Barracuda, said in a statement.

Cyber crime
The average BEC cyber attack targets no more than six employees. Pixabay

“Taking the proper precautions and staying informed about the tactics cybercriminals are using will help organisations defend themselves more effectively against these highly targeted attacks,” MacLennan said.

The report noted that business email compromise makes up a small percentage of spear-phishing attacks, but it has cost businesses more than $26 billion in the past four years, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US.

Also Read- OnePlus Notifies People About Data Breach

Business email compromise attacks have high click-thru rates. One in 10 spear-phishing emails successfully tricks a user into clicking. That number triples for BEC attacks that impersonate someone within the organisation.

In the past 12 months, the average amount lost per organisation due to spear-phishing attacks was $270,000, said the report. (IANS)