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Can you spot a phishing email?

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have been offline for all most two weeks because of a recent cyber-attack. Although they haven’t openly stated it was caused by Ransomware*, they are having to rebuild their complete system. This is consistent with how a company would react if they did not want to have to pay out to the criminals holding them to ransom. 


According to a report from the insurance broker Gallagher, 49% of local councils have been attacked since the start of 2017 and 37% were attacked in the first half of 2019 alone. Over that six-month period, local government experienced 263 million attacks

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5 ways to spot a malicious email

The majority of ransomware attacks begin with phishing scams, so simply knowing how to spot a malicious email will protect you from a substantial number of threats.

    • The message is sent from a public email domain
    • The domain name is misspelled
    • The email is poorly written
    • It includes suspicious attachments or links
    • The message creates a sense of urgency


The advice in the malicious email blog shows how important it is for individuals to be able to recognise signs of phishing.

Spam filters will never be fully effective, so it’s up to you to read the context of messages. Look for anything suspicious and report it.

Remember – it could be you and your business being held to ransom.

*Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files and locks users out of the system. A message would then be sent informing users that to get access they have to pay a ransom.

You might also be interested in reading – blog/small-businesses-and-personal-data/

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Shirley Atkinson

SAA IT Test Consultant

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