You Could Be Next!

The Peak Industry Body for the Information, Communication and Technology Sector has issued a timely warning regarding Cyber Security having itself been a target.

TasICT Chief Executive Officer Steve Adermann has revealed that a recent cyber security incident resulted in the organisation’s Microsoft 0365 eMail account being compromised.

Mr Adermann said, “The Business eMail Compromise (BEC) serves as a reminder to all businesses that these types of attacks aren’t limited to just big corporate organisations and that even small operations can suffer from illegal online activity. It could happen to any business, and if it does the first step is to change account passwords, identify what information has been accessed and file a report with the Australian Cyber Security Centre.”

 He said “Many people feel embarrassed that it has happed to them and try to keep it a secret, but the right response is to strengthen security processes and communicate the incident to customers or stakeholders that may be affected by the security breach”.

In the case of the TasICT BEC, the actor impersonated the Chief Executive Officer and send a series of messages to the Accountant and Treasurer requesting payment of a fraudulent tax invoice as well as undertaking configurational changes to redirect and hide the trail of eMail exchanges to avoid detection. The account compromise was discovered when the Treasurer phoned the Chief Executive Officer to query the payment request. External professional ICT support was sought to undertake a detailed analysis of the TasICT operating environment as to understand when access had occurred and what information had been accessed. TasICT’s auditors were also engaged to review payment processes and recommend changes to mitigate the risk.

Mr Adermann said there are some good campaigns aimed at fighting cyber-crime and lifting levels of maturity in Tasmania, such as the Cyber-UP initiative from the Project Lab which aims to help small and medium enterprises prevent cyber-attacks. The proposed TasTAFE Cyber Innovation Training Hub is another programme aimed at improving skills, maturity and responsiveness.

How to protect against a BEC:

Cyber incidents can be reported at: