Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment, Communications and the Circular Economy Ossian Smyth, and Juhan Lepassaar, Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Cyber Security (ENISA) launched a public awareness campaign for October’s European Cyber Security Month.
The campaign focuses on the positive steps the public can take to empower themselves against social engineering frauds.
Social engineering is being carried out by criminals through phishing (fraudulent emails), smishing (fraudulent text messages) and vishing (fraudulent phone calls). The campaign is being jointly promoted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) and will utilise social media and radio advertisements to raise awareness of the steps that can be taken to counteract these fraudulent activities.
Phishing (as well as smishing and vishing) are carried out with the intention of stealing money or gaining access to sensitive information for further illegal activity. Such activities are aimed at deceiving individuals and causing them distress, either financially, emotionally, or both. The methods carried out in such attacks aim to psychologically manipulate victims and trick them into giving away sensitive personal information.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and An Garda Síochána, through this campaign, are asking the public to ‘think before you click’ and allow themselves time and space before responding to messages that seem suspect.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Smyth stated, “the use of social engineering through phishing and other such attacks to target individuals’ personal information is a deplorable form of cyber-attack that many of us have likely encountered at some point.”
“It is vital that we remember to allow ourselves time upon receipt of a suspicious email or text. Attackers will try to build a fake sense of urgency – there is no impetus on us to respond to such a false timescale. European Cyber security month is a terrific way to raise awareness of the importance of allowing ourselves time and space in such correspondence and protect ourselves from these fraudulent attacks.”