True Cyber Crime

The following are real cyber crime stories from people who want to share to make sure it does not happen to you

Real Cyber Story #1 – WA Insurance Brokers

What happened?

In June 2019, WA Insurance Brokers were the victims of a serious cyber incident, in the form of a ransomware attack that resulted in a major network outage for the business.

What were the consequences for the business as a result of the attack?

For 18 days, the business was technically offline resulting in the following major impacts:

  • lost the functionality to process documentation and issue invoices/renewals to existing and new clients
  • had limited access to emails
  • lost the ability to access client files
  • had to replace over 400 laptops

Luckily IT support acted quickly to lock down the network to confine the issue and an independent validation was able to confirm no client data had been breached.

What cyber precautions have been put in place to prevent another attack?

The business has installed further state of the art anti-virus software, replaced servers and issued over 400 new laptops all with enhanced anti-virus software. Cyber Check.Me highlights that whilst anti-virus is important, it is not enough on its own to keep your business fully secure.

Advice from WA Insurance Brokers to other SME’s about cyber awareness

The Director of WA Insurance Brokers said “Like a burglary, it’s not if it happens, it’s when & a Disaster Recovery Plan is paramount”.  He also highlighted, that should a business use a IT provider, to understand the level of security their systems have and to ensure there is 24×7 monitoring.

Cyber Check.Me wishes to thank WA Insurance Brokers for sharing their story.  We encourage everyone to support these local businesses who have been impacted by cyber crime.  Visit WA Insurance Brokers for more information on their services.

Real Cyber Story #2 – Cosmic Cocktails

Cosmic Cocktails boss Clint Gurney remembers all too well the panic he felt when he realised his business website had disappeared from the internet. “I put in cosmiccocktails. and I went, ‘Holy crap, where are we?’,” he says. “That’s just
a feeling that you do not want to have. It’s like someone just kicked you in the guts.” In a haze of disbelief, Gurney kept searching frantically. But the site wasn’t there. It had been taken down by hackers almost six months earlier. The hack devastated the
business. “We had nothing in our diary for the next 12 months, which was just unheard of,” Gurney says. “We closed the business for two months. I had to put off all my staff,
and just figure out what the hell we were going to do.”

Being attacked by cyber criminals wasn’t on Gurney’s radar – and he’s not alone. Small businesses are the target of 43 per cent of all cyber crimes in Australia, but most
businesses are ill-equipped for an attack. “They don’t know what they don’t know,” says WA AustCyber Innovation Hub at ECU director Dr Ian Martinus. “From my experience, dealing with small business in this state, particularly over the last 20 years, [they’re] not
very prepared at all.”

ECU Security Research Institute (ECUSRI) director Professor Craig Valli agrees. “They’re one of the most attacked places, but of course they don’t have the expertise or knowledge to actually help protect themselves,” he says. Valli adds many small business
owners also assume they won’t be targeted, without realising cyber criminals could be after money or trade secrets, or use their business as a stepping stone to get to their
larger customers.