All together now: stop clicking unknown links and downloading suspicious attachments.
If security experts have said it once, they’ve said it 1,000 times: don’t click on or download strange email attachments.
Israel’s Electricity Authority reportedly learned that the hard way this week. According to the Times of Israel, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told attendees at a security conference that the IEA was recently hit by a “severe” cyber attack, forcing it to shut down the agency’s PCs.
It has since been handled, Steinitz continued, though he did not elaborate.
According to Computerworld, citing Ynet, the attack was carried out via ransomware, which usually means that an employee on the inside clicked on a bad link or downloaded a malicious attachment. The software then takes over and locks the system, and hackers demand money for its return.
Steinitz’s original statement prompted some to report that Israel’s electric grid had been attacked. But the IEA is a regulatory body and does not have direct control over the country’s grid. It would be as if a phishing email was sent to an employee at the U.S. Department of Energy.
A country that does claim to have had its electrical grid attacked is Ukraine. Officials there point the finger at Russia, which denies any wrongdoing. But it’s reportedly raised enough red flags to prompt a visit from U.S. officials.