Malicious email data breaches appear to be on the rise as organisations and individuals are increasingly targeted by scams and viruses via email.
When a criminal uses this method of attack, there can be a far-reaching impact on data security, and it is important for victims to know their rights.
While many email systems can block such emails or warn users about potentially malicious content, unfortunately, errors can be made, causing the targets to unwittingly trigger a data breach. If an organisation has put your data at risk in an incident like this, you may be eligible to claim compensation for any harm caused. When organisations fail to uphold data security, they may be liable for causing a data breach, and we could be able to hold them accountable under the law.
What are malicious email data breaches?
Malicious email data breaches are typically when a criminal targets recipients with fraudulent or other criminal activity via email. This can be for the purpose of obtaining bank account details or other personal data using an email as the initial point of attack.
One of the most common forms of malicious email is phishing emails, which was reportedly said to be one of the top causes for data breaches in the UK in 2019. The term ‘phishing’ is used to describe fraudulent email communication sent by criminals who pose as reputable companies or people as a means of tricking the recipients into revealing personal details, such as bank account details and credit card numbers.
Other malicious email data breaches can occur when the emails contain viruses and malware, designed to corrupt and even withdraw information from the computer system of the recipient. The cybersecurity risk can be provoked if the recipient clicks on a link or opens an attachment containing the malicious software.
One of the types of malware frequently sent in cybercriminals’ emails is ransomware, which can result in hackers being able to take control of a computer system and its private data. Information and systems can then be held for ransom, demanding payment before the control of the data and systems is reinstated.
How do malicious email data breaches affect organisations?
The sheer size of the threat of malicious email data breaches is demonstrated clearly in the example of the British Council. It was revealed in early 2020 that the British Council was bombarded with malicious email attacks numbering in the monumental figure of over 10 million. And this was just in 2019!
Many were blocked and logged as spam on suspicions of malware content, viruses and phishing scams. If these emails had not been dealt with correctly, the risk to personal information held by the British Council could have been severe.
In fact, if an organisation succumbs to a malicious email and personal data is leaked, the affected victims may be targeted directly by similar scams. If contact details are exposed, the victims may be targeted by all the types of criminal communication described above. We have seen this off the back of major group actions that we represent clients for.
Claiming compensation as a victim
If it can be proven that a third party is responsible for exposing personal data, those who have fallen prey to the effects of a malicious email data breach may be able to claim compensation.
We aim to hold any organisations that have endangered data security accountable under the law, so contact us to make an enquiry about a possible data breach claim today.
With our extensive experience in data breach law, we can usually tell you if you have a claim to make within minutes. We can also offer No Win, No Fee legal representation for eligible clients.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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First published by Matthew on April 20, 2021
Posted in the following categories: Claims Cybersecurity Data Ransomware Scammers Security Technology and tagged with compensation | cyber attack | cyber crime | cybersecurity | data breach | data controllers | email leaks | gdpr | Group Action | online security | personal data | phishing scams | ransomware