Cyber Security Awareness Month – Have you been hacked?

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, an annual reminder for all Australians to stay secure online. This week’s theme is “Have you been hacked?”

Getting hacked has become a terrifying phrase in recent times. We outline how you can spot the signs that you may have fallen victim to a cyber attack.

Signs you've been hacked

  • Your email has been compromised in a data breach - check your email address at Have I Been Pwned
  • Your antivirus software picks up malware or other suspicious activities
  • You are signed out of your accounts, or you try to log in and discover your passwords do not work anymore
  • You receive unexpected emails or text messages about login attempts or two-factor authentication
  • You receive an email or text message from a company about a data breach you have been involved in 
  • Your computer overheats and crashes often
  • Your internet browser homepage has changed
  • Your devices are behaving in strange ways
  • There are suspicious charges in financial statements for credit cards
  • You start seeing programs you never installed on your devices
  • Your mouse cursor is moving by itself, or windows is opening and closing without input
  • Your webcam light turns off and on without you using it.

Take control of your cyber security and reduce the impact of an attack by learning how to protect yourself online and how to respond if you have been hacked.

What to do if you have been hacked?

Contain the potential impact

  • Immediately change passwords for your emails and online accounts using a safe device (i.e., a phone, tablet or secondary computer that is not impacted by any suspicious activity)
  • If affected, inform your financial institutions that unauthorised activity has occurred
  • Disconnect affected devices from the internet
  • Request a credit report to identify unauthorised credit activity. Some free options can be found at Moneysmart.
  • Sign-up for identity monitoring services to monitor personally identifiable information in credit applications, public records, websites, and other places for any unusual activity that could be a sign of identity theft

Eradicate the hacker from your systems

Recover your systems to normal operation

  • Report the matter to authorities
  • Install an antivirus software (if one is not already installed)
  • Setup regular scan intervals on the antivirus software including real-time scanning and start-up scanning
  • Reconnect affected devices to the internet
  • Education in keeping safe online is one of the best steps to prevent an incident from reoccurring in the future. Read the Australian Cyber Security Centre's page: Easy steps to secure yourself online for more information.

BDO’s Cyber Security team can assist with all layers of cyber security, consisting of risk management policies and strategies, all the way through to penetration testing and incident response planning. We can help you understand your cyber risks and implement cyber resilience strategies to minimise the impact of a cyber attack on your business. Contact one of our dedicated cyber security advisers today.