Ransomware and skills shortage focus for IRISSCERT


19 November 2012

The threat of ransomaware to Irish business and the increasing IT security skills shortage will be key themes of the IRISSCERT Annual Cyber Crime conference on Thursday 22 November in the Clyde Court Hotel (formerly the Berkley Court Hotel), Ballasbridge, Dublin.

As part of its conference IRISSCERT will reveal its second annual cybercrime statistics report. Based on the security incidents reported to it so far in 2012 IRISSCERT will highlight key trends and issues of which businesses in Ireland should be aware.

"This year has seen a significant change in the threat landscape for Irish businesses," said Brian Honan, head, IRISSCERT. "We still have the traditional threats of computer virus infections, security breaches, web site defacements and hijacking to host malware or phishing sites. However, this year we are seeing a trend in the use of Denial of Service attacks against organisations. Some of these attacks can be attributed to hacktivist activity, but for others the motive is not so clear and could be criminal elements looking to extort businesses. We also see an increase in reports of companies’ systems been subjected to ransonware, which in some cases has seen demands for up to €3,000."




Ransomware is the phenomenon where criminals will infect an organisation’s files or network with malicious programs that use encryption to render data unusable. The criminals will then charge a fee to make the data usable.

"Typically ransomware attacks are hitting businesses in the SME sector as many do not have the in-house expertise, or indeed access to that expertise, to manage the threat," said Honan.

The shortage of computer security skills is another theme that will be addressed at the conference, say the organisers.

Speakers at this year’s event include Marcus Ranum, CTO, Tenable Security, who will give the keynote. Ranum is credited with building the first commercial firewall, the first email server within the Whitehouse and has a host of innovations in firewall and intrusion detection technology.

Other speakers are Michael Moran, coordinator for Crimes against Children, Interpol, Rik Ferguson, director, Security Research and Communication EMEA,  Trend Micro, Neira Jones, Head of Payment Security, Barclaycard,  Candid Wueest, principal threat researcher, Symantec, and local speakers Gavin O’Gorman, senior threat intelligence analyst, Symantec, Eoin Keary, CISSP, CISA, chief technology officer, BCC Risk Advisory and Mark Hillick, senior engineer, KybEire.


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