The computer systems of Nottingham City Council were the target of hackers yesterday who circulated an email to many council staff appearing to come from the council’s internal IT department. It asked the staff to click a link to install an essential update – but that link would have installed a computer virus instead.
The emails were forged, and it is not known whether any staff clicked the links but the IT department quickly detected the threat and emailed all staff asking them to disregard the email if they received it, and not click the link.
This computer virus threat follows the recent ransom-ware cyber attacks that effected the NHS, and took down their computers for some time, leading to doctors surgeries being temporarily closed until the problem could be rectified.
How to protect yourself against cyber attacks:
- If you receive an email that you are unsure about – don’t click any links in it.
- Install an anti-virus program onto your computer, and make sure that it checks regularly for updates as new computer viruses are being launched all the time.
- Don’t open attachments in emails unless you are expecting them from someone you know, and bear in mind that emails can be forged so they appear to come from people you know.