Posted: Mon 16th Jan 2017

More attacks committed in ‘cyberspace’ against north Wales firms than crime on the region’s streets.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 16th, 2017

Cyber criminals from Russia and Eastern Europe are attacking companies across north Wales with many falling foul of dark web attacks.

That warning comes North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones who was speaking to members of the North Wales Business Club at a breakfast meeting at the Quay Hotel, Deganwy.

According to the Commissioner, there’s more crime being committed in cyberspace than there is on the region’s streets – and businesses are amongst those most at risk.

Mr Jones, a retired police inspector, said:

The front line is now online. Technology has provided criminals with new tools and different methods to perpetrate crime.

Traditional crimes such as burglary, shoplifting and theft have seen a reduction over the last decade but the number of offences hasn’t reduced – it has moved online.

Heinous crimes such as child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery did not feature in my day to day role as a Police Inspector. Cyber-crime was not a priority and received little focus.

Having spent my first few months in office coming to understand these new crime types and the complex demands they bring, I can tell you just how different it is these days.

Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones talks to North Wales Business Club at The Quay, Deganwy.

There is now more crime committed online than on the streets.

It is the evolution of crime and I want to make sure that the businesses of North Wales are aware of the dangers online and how you can protect yourselves.

Businesses have long taken precautions against traditional crimes, by putting CCTV into stores and offices, ensuring safes are out of sight or inaccessible, double or triple locking doors.

These are the tried and tested ways to deter and prevent your business from being targeted by criminals but the playing field has changed and we need to work more effectively in partnership to prevent the newer crimes, such as cyber-crime, from being committed.”

One of the most destructive forms of cybercrime is the use of ransomware by hackers who encrypt the files of companies and individuals and demand thousands of pounds to unlock them.

[miptheme_quote author=”Detective Constable Dave Allmark, from the Cyber Crime Team” style=”boxquote text-left”]We recently saw a firm in the Wrexham area have 15 years’ worth of accounts, data encrypted. The implications for them were potentially catastrophic and the firm could have easily folded.[/miptheme_quote]

Detective Sergeant Peter Jarvis is a member of the North Wales Police Cyber Crime Team said;

These crimes are being reported to us every week. Imagine coming in to work and upon accessing your computer you are presented with a message that all of your data files are encrypted and inaccessible.

If the computer has been connected to a network, potentially, all of the files are now encrypted. A ransom demand is made to decrypt the files. If the company doesn’t have data back-ups to recover from this type of attack, they are left with some difficult decisions”.

The cyber criminals are not setting out to target a business in North Wales. The first you know of it is when you get the on-screen message and the payment demanded in crypto-currencies which are impossible to trace.

It’s very unlikely you will find the person responsible, they don’t leave a footprint, so it’s vital to have the right security and to follow the right procedures and to make sure your staff do as well.

For more information on cybercrime and how to guard against it north-wales.police.uk/cyber-crime

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