Cyber Crimes amid COVID-19


It is important that businesses understand their exposure to the risks of cyber-attacks. Awareness is the first step towards decreasing and responding to the increasingly complex nature of cyber-crime.

Today the most prevalent forms of cybersecurity incidents are a product of social engineering, with the majority of incidents resulting from a particular phishing event, such as telephone call or email.

Company loses $80M AUD

Recently, FACC, a major designer and manufacturer of aircraft components was swindled off approximately $50 million euros (approximately $80M AUD) through email fraud. It involved a fake email sent to the company’s employees impersonating to be the CEO of the company. The employees and the CEO were stood down. Before being stood down, CEO Walter Stephan told investors “The fraud did not take place via our Internet or IT system but by means of a simulated email correspondence under my name, which does not require any hacking”

Current Landscape

In 2020 we have experienced a significant change in business landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing business dependency on technology. There are now increased users of technology including office devices, apps and online platform, creating opportunities for cyber criminals.

For businesses now is the time to take positive actions, in firstly trying to understand the risk exposure of their businesses and secondly, in developing strategies to minimise or eliminate such risks.

Actions you can take today

  • Do not transfer monies without verifying the details through other methods than email – ie telephoning prior to making the transfer;
  • Thoroughly research websites or platforms where you provide personal details, including charity organisations;
  • Do not click on, or reply or open attachments from email addresses that appear as suspicious or unsolicited; and
  • Do not respond to unsolicited SMS, emails or phone calls that ask you to provide your details

If you are at risk or have been exposed to cyber-crime, we encourage you to call our office to speak to one of our experienced lawyers who can provide you professional advice on how to handle the situation.