Regulator gives landlords cybersecurity advice during the Coronavirus pandemic

SHR letter to landlords on guarding against cyberattack during the Coronavirus pandemic

Dear colleague,  

Coronavirus-themed phishing attacks and hacking campaigns are on the rise 

We have been advised of a recent and ongoing ransomware attack against a Registered Social Landlord.

The current pandemic presents new risks and issues and we are aware that there has been a significant rise in the incidence of criminals using coronavirus for phishing attacks, malware and ransomware to exploit businesses and charities at this time. The National Cyber Security Centre has revealed a range of attacks being perpetrated online as cyber criminals seek to exploit COVID-19.

Techniques seen since the start of the year include bogus emails with links claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on lead to devices being infected.

These ‘phishing’ attempts have been seen in several countries and can lead to loss of money and sensitive data.

The NCSC is urging businesses and the public to consult its online guidance, including how to spot and deal with suspicious emails as well as mitigate and defend against malware and ransomware. 

Last October I wrote to you about the importance of cyber security in safeguarding the interests of your tenants and residents. 

We urge all social landlords to review the guidance material available and take steps to protect themselves from this threat as a priority.

Yours Sincerely 

Ian Brennan