Home Workers – This is for you

The interests and cyber security needs of our customers are at the heart of everything we do. This is particularly important during these unprecedented and challenging times.

Millions of people the world over have made a sudden shift to working from home due to the current global circumstances. With our customers in mind we are developing material to help you stay safe and secure when you are online.

Protect those around you by staying connected, private and by sharing valid information.

Unfortunately, as you may be aware, cyber criminals are taking advantage of the anxieties and concerns around the coronavirus, Covid-19.

This has led to a flood of phishing mails that either attempt to steal log-in details belonging to remote workers or install malware on to a victim’s computer. Other infection methods are also being used such as websites that harbour malicious code and apps that are actually fronts for ransomware among other things.

To Protect yourself here are a few useful tips……

Mac malware email draftsEmails
Whenever you receive an e-mail that asks you to click or open a link, take a GOOD look at the sender’s actual email address, not just the displayed name (which could be a trick). You can usually see this by hovering your mouse over the sender’s name.

teleconferencing makes the world smallerWebsites
If opening links from within an e-mail, look in the URL address bar to see the domain hosting the web page, is it what you would expect – or is it a website you have never heard of? Again, you can hover your mouse over the link without clicking to see the destination website.

Dr Larry RobertsYour Systems
Keep your operating system and apps updated – this ensures you have the latest patches against any known exploits

Snoopers' charterLock or close your laptop when you’re taking a break, this will ensure that others in your home don’t accidently click on malware links or otherwise mess up your work.

With these tips in mind, please take an extra moment to review incoming emails, and the websites you visit to avoid becoming a victim of these attacks. Be extra careful around your online banking and financial investments and don’t be fooled by easy money. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.

We express our gratitude to those of you who are working on the frontline to combat this virus and offer our sympathies and best wishes to those who have been impacted.

We’re in this together! Stay safe both online and offline!  If you need any help with anything mentioned in this blog please get in touch.

With Kind Regards

The MPMIT Team, offering local IT support in byte sized chunks to Micro businesses and Sole Traders in the Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and the surrounding areas.

UK Police Are Cutting Back on Cyber Crime Investigations

Fraud, especially cybercrime, is always hitting the headlines. However, five UK police forces are cutting back their investigations in this area.

This story first broke in The Times. Here’s what BullGuard had to say about it:

Police forces in the UK are cutting the number of fraud and cybercrime investigators as they face a £37 million black hole in law enforcement budgets, according to The Times.

Five police forces, West Yorkshire, West Midlands, Sussex, South Yorkshire and Cheshire, have cut the number of specialist investigators over the past two years, according to data obtained via a freedom of information request.

Apparently a secret presentation to police and crime commissioners by the National Crime Agency (NCA), also warns of glaring “operational gaps” in budgets for inquiries into serious and organised crime, including no specialist funding at all for cybercrime after March 2019.

  • A record £500 million in the UJ was lost to fraud in the first six months of this year as criminals find ever more sophisticated ways to outsmart an already overstretched police force.
  • About £145 million of the loss was a result of so-called “authorised” scams, where the victim sends funds to a criminal’s account believing they are following instructions from a bank, police or some other trustworthy source.
  • Most cyber fraud crimes referred to Action Fraud, the central fraud reporting agency, are not investigated as they are dismissed by a computer algorithm, usually, because they are under £10,000 and are not linked to known hacker groups.

Cybercrime investigators cut

It’s been apparent for some time that the police rarely investigate what they consider to be ‘small amount’ frauds because they are overstretched.

However, the fact that some forces are now cutting the number of cyber-crime investigators sends out a signal to victims that they may as well not bother reporting losses and to fraudsters that it’s open season.

  • Victims of “authorised” banking fraud are typically denied a refund unless the fraud is detected in time for the recipient bank to freeze funds before they are transferred elsewhere.
  • However, Vocalink, a payments services firm that is part of Mastercard, said fraudulent funds are typically moved into 10 different accounts within 10 minutes of a transfer.

Lloyds bank said some scammer’s accounts it has detected were opened with valid identification and address documents.

However, there are already technologies available that can quickly identify whether documents are suspicious by tying them to other forms of ID. Why aren’t the banks using them?

If there’s a moral to this tale it’s that we all need to be extremely wary of requests to send money, even if they appear to be legitimate, for instance, from your bank, solicitor or other trusted source.

If the request for a money transfer includes new bank details the first thing to be done is contact the organisation in question, either by phone or even better in person, and verify whether the account details are indeed accurate or part of an elaborate scam.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and surrounding villages.