PSNI encourages organisations and businesses to act against potential cyber threat

  • 14 May 2017

PSNI encourages organisations and businesses to act against potential cyber threat

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PSNI is continuing to work with partners in national government and other agencies to mitigate any risk to computer networks in Northern Ireland posed by a global Ransomware incident that occurred on Friday 12 May.

Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Grant, Head of PSNI Cyber Crime Centre said: "While no incidents have been reported in NI as yet, we do expect further infections to come to light globally over the next week and we cannot rule out the possibility that local systems may be vulnerable.

As people return to work tomorrow after the weekend, many will have unopened, potentially infected emails in their inboxes, or their systems may already be infected and are waiting to activate. It is of the utmost importance that individuals and organisations act to ensure the integrity of our local cyber networks and take appropriate action to reduce the threat posed by cyber criminals.

The latest advice and patches are now available to protect current and older legacy systems via :

https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance

A ‘patch’ is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities. By following the instructions contained within this link, computer users will be able to install the latest ‘patches’ from Microsoft to protect against Ransomware attacks such as this.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Cyber Crime Centre will continue to actively participate in the national co-ordinated response to this attack and we would encourage all local businesses and public services to take immediate steps to protect their systems and reduce their vulnerability.

We would also recommend that businesses and industries join the local Cyber Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) so they can receive the most up to date threat and mitigation information to help protect their cyber security.”

Further information is available at: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware

Any organisations who believe they may be victims of cyber-attack are urged to contact to the police immediately at 101 or via the Cyber Crime Reporting Portal on the PSNI Website or alternatively through Action Fraud 0300 1232040.

 

General advice :

  • Don’t open suspicious emails or attachments and don’t click on web links if you are  suspicious of the source
  • Make sure your software is up-to-date and properly ‘patched’  
  • Make sure you have adequate and up-to-date antivirus software installed
  • Back up your data somewhere else - you can’t be held to ransom if you’ve got the data backed up