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Technology-Rich Schools Attractive Target of Cyber Attacks

A series of attacks over the course of six weeks brought instruction to a halt at a 4,000-student school district in Avon, Connecticut

cyber attacks
FILE - The board of education offices in Avon, Conn. is seen in this July 12, 2019 photo. VOA

Cyber attacks on schools are leading to disruptions in instruction in districts that have thoroughly integrated technology.

The FBI says cyber attacks have become common at schools, which are attractive targets because they hold sensitive data and provide critical public services. The agency says perpetrators include criminals motivated by profit, juvenile pranksters and possibly foreign governments.

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The widespread adoption of education technology, which generates data that officials say can make schools more of a target for hackers, also worsens an attack’s effects when instructional tools are rendered useless by internet outages. A series of attacks over the course of six weeks brought instruction to a halt at a 4,000-student school district in Avon, Connecticut. (VOA)

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Here’s How Cyber Attackers Compose BEC Attacks

Cyber criminals execute business email compromise attacks during business hours

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.

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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)