Editorial

EU hit by “significant” cyberattack

European Commission staff reportedly warned about potential phishing attempts

Posted 8 April 2021 by

Several European Union institutions — among them the European Commission — were the target of a “significant” cyberattack last week.

“We are working closely with CERT-EU, the Computer Emergency Response Team for all EU institutions, bodies and agencies and the vendor of the affected IT solution,” the spokesperson told the news outlet. “Thus far, no major information breach was detected.”

A commission spokesperson told Bloomberg  that several EU bodies were attacked in an “IT security incident”.

However, the attack was serious enough for senior officials at the commission to be alerted, according to a source. The same person said the incident was bigger than the usual attacks that regularly hit the EU. Another EU official said that staff had recently been warned about potential phishing attempts.

A source told Bloomberg that the EU had recently had a warning about possible phishing attempts. Phishing scams more than doubled last year in the US, according to the FBI.

Spate of cyberattacks

Closer to home, two in five businesses (39 percent) and more than a quarter of charities (26 percent) report having cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 report shows the cyber risk to organisations is heightened because of the pandemic, which has made securing digital environments more challenging as organisational resources are diverted to facilitating home working for staff.

Additionally, recent research notes that more than 80 percent of British people fear themselves or their friends or family falling victim to cybercrime. The NCSC handled more than three times as many ransomware incidents in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Additional research shows that local government bodies are the most likely target for ransomware attacks.

Vice-chair of the UK’s new Cyber Security Council and Think Digital Partners technology advisor, Jessica Figueras will talk about the role and remit of the Council at the forthcoming Think Cybersecurity for Government event. Find out more here.