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The rise of cyber attacks in France since the arrival of Covid

In 2020, after the announcement of the Covid-19 pandemic, several French establishments were victims of computer attacks. Hospitals, companies and even schools were all affected by these hackers. It should also be noted that these computer attacks did not go unnoticed, as some of them had very serious consequences.

Some cases of cyber attacks in France since Covid

In April 2020, the company LEETCHI was the victim of a computer attack. This is a company where customers create cash accounts. But unfortunately, during an update made by the company, hackers discovered a flaw that allowed them to retrieve important data on the lives of users.

Leetchi computer attack

The hackers behind the attack were able to retrieve the names, surnames, dates of birth, e-mail addresses and even GPS coordinates of several of the company's customers. When the company realised this, it tried to contact the affected users as soon as possible to inform them. However, this data is still with the hackers, who may well sell it or use it to defraud all these people individually.

In May 2020, when the health crisis was in the news, cybercriminals also attacked the company Easyj. During this period, the company was unable to operate because its entire fleet was grounded due to the pandemic. However, this did not stop the cybercriminals from attacking the company. When they attacked the company, they recovered personal data of more than 2,200 of the company's customers.

Easyjet cyber attack

Among the information recovered were email addresses, travel itineraries and, above all, customers' credit card details. The company has therefore offered to accompany the affected customers to help them deal with the scams they may fall victim to as a result of this attack. It is not known whether this was done, but it is certain that many customers ended up filing a complaint against the company because of this computer attack.

Cybercriminals are not only attacking companies, the medical sector is also very affected. In February 2021, the Villefranche-sur-Saône hospital in the Rhône region also suffered an attack in just after the Dax-Côte d'Argent hospital.

logo hospital e1620130407766

And as usual, this computer attack blocked the hospital's data. And unlike attacks on businesses, when a computer attack is carried out on a hospital, it can cost lives. Because this type of attack is often carried out with software that blocks access to data until the hospital pays the hacker a ransom.

What are the consequences of these cyber attacks?

Computer attacks have many consequences for the companies that suffer them, but also for the customers of these companies. Indeed, when a hacker or a group of cybercriminals attacks a company, they have the opportunity to harvest the personal data of all the customers of that company. And very often even when the attack is discovered and the company tries to better secure its computer system, it does not fully solve the problem. Because even if the hackers can no longer access the company's data, it should not be forgotten that they already have some data in their possession. And thanks to this information that they have managed to steal, they can make money on the backs of the French. 

Cyber attacks

If a cybercriminal succeeds in recovering your credit card data, for example, he can empty your bank account. He can even make purchases if he so wishes. And if, on the other hand, the hacker has only succeeded in recovering your e-mail address, this may enable him to send you e-mails in order to scam you directly. Because if, for example, he is phishing, all he has to do is click on a suspicious e-mail that he has sent you and he will have access to all the information on your computer or even on your smartphone.

And if, for example, a group of cybercriminals attacks a hospital, they can prevent them from treating their patients there. Sometimes even during these cyber attacks, patients can die. If a patient with a heart attack cannot be treated in time, he or she will die. And when the hospital's computer system is blocked, there are many devices that will not even work anymore.

It should also be remembered that cybercriminals can simply sell the personal data they have recovered. And in this case, many people are victims of identity theft. When this happens, the victim is usually not aware of it from the start. And the criminals can use her identity for months and commit crimes or even scam her relatives before she knows it. 

There have even been people whose entities were stolen and after many months these people were declared dead by the hacker. So it is important during this Covid-19 crisis and even later to think about protecting yourself against computer attacks. Because even though during this period the attacks have been multiplied, this does not prevent you from being vulnerable even after the health crisis has passed.

Teleworking: how to protect yourself against computer attacks?

With the increasing rise in cyber attacks, the French have finally realised the value of protecting themselves as much as possible when they are online. First and foremost, if you want to protect yourself against computer attacks, you need to ensure that your personal information is well protected .

It is therefore not advisable to share your passwords with everyone. Nor can you allow yourself to access just any site when you are online. Because you can't guarantee the security of the site you're on every time. And if the site you are browsing is not completely secure, any hacker in any country can access your data on your computer or even your smartphone. 

cybersecurity - password

And if you make the mistake of filling in your personal details when creating an account on the site in question, hackers can access it and even retrieve your bank details if you have filled them in.

Secondly, you should know that it is important to have an effective antivirus on all devices. You should therefore start by eliminating all free antivirus software. Because a free antivirus will not protect you to the maximum. There are even hackers who take the liberty of creating free antivirus software in order to bait their target. By avoiding free antivirus software, you will avoid this type of scam. But you should also know that not all paid antivirus programs are effective. And for that, you must therefore inform yourself very well and even ask for advice from a computer specialist before choosing the antivirus that you are going to install on your devices.

anti-virus - protect yourself against computer attacks
wifi- cyber attack

Then if you want to increase your security, you should avoid connecting to free wifi. Because when you connect to this type of wifi, you cannot control the identities of all those who are connected at the same time as you. And if during the time you are connected, a hacker is also connected, he can easily steal data from you. And just as you should avoid free wifi, you should also put a secure code on your own wifi. 

By doing this, you will ensure that hackers will not be able to easily access your wifi to touch all the devices that are connected. You should also try to renew your secure password regularly. Because if you have to keep the same password for years, one day a hacker might end up accessing it.

Finally, to increase your security, you should avoid clicking on any email or link. Indeed, many cybercriminals send emails or messages to their targets before accessing their information. When they send you this message, all they need is for you to click on a link in the message. As soon as you click on this link, the hacker can start accessing your computer or smartphone to steal the information they need. You should therefore avoid clicking on a link if you are not 100% sure of the recipient.


What can you do to protect your business?

The Covid-19 health crisis has increased computer attacks tenfold. This is justifiable if we look at the number of hours that the French spend online since the beginning of this crisis. Indeed, many French people are constantly online either for professional or personal reasons. This is precisely what is favourable to cybercriminals these days.

The big questions remain in the professional world...

  • What system and tools can you put in place to protect employees who telework? 
  • How can employees'business IT tools be protected to reduce risks and avoid breaches?

The Nova Group offers various professional solutions to improve IT security

Contact us to find out more and ask your questions.

Want to know more about computer security?

Download our free white paper "Computer Security".

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