Police launch training campaign for companies to avoid ‘phishing’ expeditions
In view of the rise in online attacks, the Police Cyber Crime Unit is launching a campaign that offers training sessions to a number of companies on how to avoid falling victim to cybercrime.
Inspector Sergio Pisani who spoke to TVM, said that the attacks, known as ‘phishing’, usually came from the companies themselves with criminals obtaining from them valuable information, such as credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords and login details, all of which can be used to stolen money.
The problem has become so common, that eight million people daily fall victim of ‘phishing’ around the world.
Indeed, the attack on Bank of Valletta’s system last February when € 13 million were stolen, may have originated from a similar ‘phishing attack.
Inspector Sergio Pisani said that it would have likely occurred after someone received an email which at first glance seemed to have been sent from a trustworthy source, but which in fact was sent by a criminal group.
“So ultimately it is a person who fell for a phishing attack and who opened the door to these criminals allowing them to deposit their software inside the system. Although it may have sounded like a large amount of money, the country was quick to realise what had happened.”said the Inspector.
Inspector Pisani went on to say that the internet opened the door to many opportunities, and was also a tool that could be used by criminals, even in transnational attacks.
“Every minute 188 million emails are sent. 80,000 people fall victim to ‘phishing attacks’. Criminals are using this as their weapon where the purpose of the email is to deceive the recipient, who imagines it is a legitimate email. ”
Inspector Pisani said that everyday dozens of Maltese are falling victim to these attacks. “It is estimated that by the year 2021, criminal enterprises will bring in six trillion dollars a year from such behavior. It is unfortunate that in Malta we have a substantial number of people falling victim to these attacks, and so the Maltese police are doing everything to reduce the gap indicated by the United Nations, namely that 97% are not able to distinguish this attack. ”
Inspector Pisani said that if someone receives a suspicious email, the first thing he should do is to click on the name of the sender to try to find out more details. If someone has fallen victim, he should immediately inform the bank and report the matter to the police.