NATION

Buksh Tells: What To Do If Hacked

  Fiji since 2013 has recorded 35 cyber crime cases involving a total of $1,480,360. Fijian companies and individuals were targets of these “payment intercept” scams. This was highlighted by
04 Sep 2016 09:00
Buksh Tells: What To Do If Hacked

 

Fiji since 2013 has recorded 35 cyber crime cases involving a total of $1,480,360.

Fijian companies and individuals were targets of these “payment intercept” scams.

This was highlighted by the Reserve Bank of Fiji’s director of Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Razim Buksh.

Mr Buksh told this newspaper, FIU is aware of an increase in cyber crime related cases in Fiji over the past five years.

“These include low value financial transactions for cyber crimes linked to advance-fee fraud, illegal lottery awards, on-line employment scams, fraudulent investment and inheritance cases as well as many other forms of “get-rich quick” schemes,” he said.

“The FIU has also noted the escalation of slightly larger cases involving on-line phishing schemes resulting in unauthorised and fraudulent transactions conducted in bank accounts of Fijian businesses.”

The first case, Mr Buksh said was reported to the FIU in May 2013 involving  or $133,000 (US$65,000) being diverted from Taiwan to the cyber criminal’s account in Dubai.

“The largest transaction successfully intercepted by cyber criminals was in December 2014 and valued at $204,000 (US$96,000) meant for payment of clothing to a company in a foreign country.

“The most recent case reported to FIU in August 2016 involved the local company’s regular overseas supplier’s email account being hacked and resulted in $112,000 (US$55,000) being diverted to the cyber criminal’s account in Hong Kong.”

According to Mr Buksh the FIU continues to create awareness surrounding cyber crime and its negative impacts.

“The FIU has issued a number of press releases warning Fijians on advance fee frauds, on-line employment scams and fake advertisements,” he said.

He said FIU had also investigated and referred cyber crime related cases to local law enforcement and foreign partners.

 

Out of the 35 cases, the FIU noted that:

n 16 transactions were successfully intercepted by cyber criminals resulting in a loss of approximately $940,000;

n Two transactions to the value of $225,360 were refunded through quick action by the local companies and the commercial banks in Fiji;

n Four transactions to the value of $315,000 were prevented by commercial banks in Fiji from occurring; and

n The remaining 13 cases reported were unsuccessful and did not result in any loss due to early detection by the local company or individual targeted.

 

Challenges faced by the FIU when addressing cyber crime related issues include:

n The internet and global connectivity has provided a conducive environment for international supply and trade of goods, services and transfer of funds between companies, individuals and organisations.

At the same time, this creates opportunities for criminals to commit cyber crimes and launder their money.

n Complexity – cybercrime is a high speed, low cost offence however can be very complex when investigated due to the type of technology used to mask their identity, location and how they move funds derived in order to create layers to conceal where the funds end up.

n Anonymity – there is no direct physical contact between the criminal and the victim making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify, record and gather evidence to investigate and prosecute cyber criminals.

n Resources and capability – FIU and other law enforcement agencies in Fiji face resource and capability constraints to tackle complex cyber crime cases.

n Investigation – the FIU and other law enforcement agencies in Fiji face challenges in investigating cyber crimes given the transnational nature of the offence and the required domestic and foreign co-operation needed to bring about successful convictions.

 

How to determine if your email account has been hacked

Your email account may be compromised if: –

n You are no longer able to log into your email account because your password has changed; or

n Your sent folder contains messages that you have never sent; or

n Your email contacts inform you that they have been receiving spam messages from your account.

 

What to do if you suspect that your email account has been hacked

n Immediately change your password or request the administrator of your email system to change your password if you are unable to log into your account.

Many E-Mail services and providers, such as Hotmail and G-Mail, will have links that may be used to request a password change.

Choose a strong password.

A ‘strong’ password will be at least six characters long and contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters such as %, $ and +.

n Change the password for all your other online accounts.

n Change your ‘security question’ and ‘answer’ for your accounts.

Some email services require the setup of a security question that can be used to verify your identity.

It is common practice for hackers to change this in order to regain access to your account if they are locked out.

nVerify that you are the owner of your alternate email address.

The alternate email address is where new passwords are sent in the event of a password reset request.

It is common practice for hackers to change this in order to regain access to your account if they are locked out.

 

How can you prevent hackers from gaining access to your email account?

n Choose a ‘strong’ password.

n Install a reputable anti-virus software.

n Change your password at regular intervals.

n Avoid giving your email address to every site that asks for it.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

 

Feedback:  farzana.nisha@fijisun.com.fj

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