What happened?
Hackers tried to access the BDA[British dental association] servers. While doing so they collected bank account numbers, sort codes of the BDA members. This web portal and their servers were breached at the end of July. As a result the website portal was down by 30th july. The Union members were not known to the fact that the portal was hacked. Later BDA Chief exec Martin Woodrow said to Dentistry Online, “As we attempted to restore services, it became clear hackers had accessed our systems.”

What is the current status? has the investigation taken place?
BDA’s IT team posted on their website “We’ve been investigating why our site has been down and it’s bad news; we’ve been hacked.”

Below is the screenshot of the same:

Later after a day, the IT team update the site to say: “We have recently been the victim of a cyber incident. As a precaution, we have taken some of our systems offline, such as our website and telephone servers. Our IT team are doing everything they can to get our systems back up and running for you as soon as possible.

Below is the screenshot for the same:

What type of data from the server was stolen after hack?
As reported on Dentistry Online, These were the data stolen from servers:

  • Account holder Name
  • Contact details
  • transaction history with British dental association
  • Direct debit details
  • Account numbers of bank connected
  • sort codes
  • Logs of correspondence
  • notes of cases lodged
  • Trade union functions
  • Indemnity insurance information

Has BDA given  any new statement after the disclose of this hack?
BDA posted on Facebook, “We have informed the information commissioner’s Office and have a case open. We were able to reassure them on their initial queries and will work with them if it believes any further investigation is required. We are contacting people we think are affected. We have spoken at length with our cyber security consultant and reported it to our insurer. The insurer will undertake forensic analysis of the recovery plans.”

So is it the end of the hack? was this the only motive of the cyber attack done?
It can be surely agreed upon whether the breach and data steal was the only motive of the hackers who executed this cyber attack on British dental association. There can be more reason why did they choose to do so. Also there can be multiple consequences for the victims to face if the attackers who stole their data uses it to:

  • Use the victims identity for crimes.
  • Use the victims data to steal money, data or other important things victim either owns or has access to.
  • Can use the data stolen to commit a much bigger fraud elsewhere in the country.

What can you do to prevent such attacks on your organization?

Data breaches, Data leaks, DDoS etc can be quiet damaging to not only the finances of a organisation/individual but also affects their reputation and other aspects in the industry. There aren’t any proactive counter measures which can help you during such attacks though. Hence it is always better to prepare, as Prevention is better than cure.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure your preventive measures against such scenarios:

  • Educate and train yourself & your employees against such attacks. Training against the known attack procedures can help you in long way.
  • Do not open any email whose source can’t be trusted. report the same to your admins for further investigation.
  • It is better to backup all the data that is being stored in your devices or servers. it is always better to have offline backups which can come in handy during such scenarios.
  • Rely on a good and trusted Security tools and solutions. No compromise can be done here as they are guarding your business.
  • Keep your private and work devices separate. If not possible, at least use different user environment on devices.
  • Use trusted VPN provider for your/organization devices and network. Don’t fall into the free VPN trap. They usually don’t work and store your information.
  • Always keep your devices up to date. You should install all the latest patch, drivers that are released only by the hardware manufacturer of your devices.
  • Try not to access websites whose identity cannot be verified. Most of these websites can be identified by their shady website UI and offering of Paid software’s in free.
  • Always listen to your IT Security consultant and plan your steps accordingly. You might know your business well, but your IT security consultant knows your systems and network better.
  • Do not pay ransom to the ransomware operators ever. This would not ensure whether you would get your data back or the operators would not public or delete your data.

By Siddhant Pathak

Cyber security architect, 7+ years experience in cyber security industry, Tech savy, Nature lover, Bullet 350 rider

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