Abu Dhabi Police has warned local UAE businesses against a surge of attacks by international cyber hackers. Abu Dhabi Police has warned local UAE businesses against a surge of attacks by international cyber hackers.

Abu Dhabi Police has warned UAE businesses of a surge in attacks by international hackers, urging them to use safe and modern protection software, and abstain from sending business correspondence using personal email accounts.

Colonel Dr Rashid Borshid, director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), revealed that online criminals are hacking into company email accounts to discover when financial claims are due, the WAM news agency reported.

Attackers then set up fake email accounts in order to lure companies into revealing their bank details and other confidential financial information.

As part of the Abu Dhabi Police's awareness-raising initiative to combat cybercrime, Colonel Borshid called on all businesses not to solely rely on routine electronic correspondence for their transactions and payments, particularly when the other party unexpectedly provides new bank account numbers.

"International hacking can be combated by using accredited and reliable anti-virus software, regularly changing their passwords, and updating secure operating systems and reliable applications continuously," he recommended.

“The world is hyper-connected, and once a malware genie is out of the bottle it cannot be put back,” Eugene Kaspersky, the co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, and one of the world’s foremost cyber security experts, told Arabian Business in a feature published this week.

“It will attack computers in MENA, in Europe, South America — basically every computer having a similar OS, software and vulnerabilities as the initial victim. So the whole world is a hotbed for modern cyber criminals. I would even say it’s a cyber criminals’ paradise.”

In just a few decades internet crime has escalated from mischievous individual hackers sending mostly email-linked viruses affecting a relatively small number of PCs to all-out government-funded operations with targets as big as nuclear facilities and military operations.

And the Middle East is becoming a hotbed for harvesting cyber criminals as well as a major target.

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