A number of Cork businesses have been targeted by cyber criminals

A number of Cork businesses have been targeted by cyber criminals
Musgrave customers data was targeted by cybercriminals.

A cyberattack on Musgrave, which attempted steal the details of thousands of customers of SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores, is just one of a number of cybercrimes that have occurred in the Cork region, a Garda source has said.

Gardaí have told the Evening Echo that a number of small businesses have been affected by cyber attacks which remains one of the biggest threats to modern businesses.

Cork-based food wholesaler Musgrave confirmed yesterday that it has been the victim of a cybercrime attack.

The company said hackers hit its network that includes SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores, attempting to access debit and credit card numbers and expiry dates of tens of thousands of customers.

In a statement, Musgrave said they are now engaged in an ongoing investigation of the incident with An Garda Síochána and had notified the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

Ronan Murphy, chief executive of cybersecurity company, Smarttech247, said cybercrime is currently growing at an unprecedented level.

Smarttech247 operates one of the most sophisticated security operations centres in the world and it is based in Cork.

Mr Murphy said: “There has been significantly more data records stolen this year than in the whole of 2016. In total there has been a reported 2 billion personal data records stolen and these are now readily available on the dark web for purchase. This includes information such as Social Security numbers, financial details, healthcare information and more.” Discussing the sudden increase in cybercrime, Mr Murphy said cybercrime is a €500bn a year industry, larger than the global drugs trade.

“It is highly lucrative with very little risk of ever being caught. To become a cybercriminal you don’t even have to be over technical because you can now purchase malicious software as a service on the dark web. This allows literally anyone to get involved in some aspect of cybercrime. You also have Nation States acting in the cybercrime arena, for example, the recent wanna cry ransomware attack has been credited to North Korea.” Offering advice to individuals and businesses on how to protect themselves online from cybercrime, Mr Murphy said people need to be careful with how they share their data online, what applications they use and the passwords they create.

“For organisations, they need to make sure their systems are regularly updated with software fixes, they need to have good firewalls and use organisations who can monitor their security a bit like how CCTV companies ensure the physical environment states secure. The Digital environment now poses equally, if not more of a threat.

Looking to the future, Mr Murphy said it was highly likely the cybercrime industry will continue to flourish.

“I would anticipate that before the year is out there will be a number of high profile casualties as a result of cybercrime.” Meanwhile, the situation at Musgrave appears to be brought under control. In a statement released yesterday the Irish Food Wholesaler said they were engaged in an ongoing investigation of the incident with An Garda Síochána and have notified the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner of the incident and intend to keep it updated regularly.

“Musgrave detected that malicious software was attempting to extract debit and credit card numbers and expiry dates, but not the cardholder name, PIN number or CCV number. “ The statement went on to say: “While there is no evidence that any data has been stolen at this point, Musgrave is advising any concerned shoppers to review activity on their statements as a precautionary measure.” Musgrave’s cyber breach response experts have installed advanced technical fixes and continue to actively manage and monitor the situation.

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