Data analyst warns other companies about possible cyber attacks after Virgin Active falls prey to hackers

Cyber security systems need to automatically notify all users of an attack or vulnerability when one part is attacked.

Cyber security systems need to automatically notify all users of an attack or vulnerability when one part is attacked.

Published May 4, 2021


Sinenhlanhla Zungu

Durban - One cyber attack could lead to a series of similar attacks on companies.

This was according to data analyst at World Wide Worx Bryan Turner, who said it was only a matter of time before other companies experienced the same fate.

Recently Virgin Active announced that it had been the victim of a cyber attack.

“Our security teams immediately started working with cyber security experts to carefully contain, manage and investigate the cyber event. The security of our systems and data is a top priority for us and we are doing everything we can to rectify the situation,” it said.

Virgin Active also notified the Information Regulator and was in contact with law enforcement.

Turner said that weak passwords and/or credentials were the leading cause of many cyber attacks.

“Most likely, these hacks happen when a former or current employee has weak credentials. Weak or repeated passwords provide hackers with easy access to any database,” said Turner.

He advises people and businesses to frequently change their passwords and avoid using the same password for different pages on the web.

Moreover, hackers were also able to use passwords that appeared in other data breaches to hack other systems.

Turner explained that the process of uncovering who the hackers were could take minutes or even days, depending on the level of security.

“In most cases, a company or person that was hacked would receive a message from the hacker outlining the data breach and what is expected from them. The victim would normally receive a message from the hacker where a file has been dropped. The file usually says ‘your system has been compromised, we have taken a copy of the data and we want a ransom to delete the data from your system’ ,” said Turner

He said the name of the hacker often appeared where this message appeared.

According to Turner, hackers usually alerted their victims after performing a data breach.

Virgin Active had not said anything about whether a file was dropped and who the hackers were.

Daily News

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