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Cyber Security Alert for Tasmanian Businesses

Business Tasmania has been advised of a new cyber security threat targeting Tasmanian businesses. Please find below a summary of the threat and how you can protect your business.

What’s happened?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is investigating a widespread malicious email virus (malware) known as Emotet which is targeting businesses and individuals. Emotet is a Trojan virus delivered via emails sent with malicious attachments.

Cyber criminals use malware for different reasons, most commonly to steal personal or valuable information from which they can profit, hold recipients to ransom or install damaging programs onto devices without your knowledge.

How does it work?
The Emotet malware appears as a normal or useful file attachment in emails (.doc, .docx, .pdf), but includes hidden code which allows cybercriminals to access and control your devices or computer systems. It can also appear as a website hyperlink in emails.
Emotet malware infects devices or computers if users click on links or open files in these emails, which are sent as phishing emails to make them look like they come from someone you know, or an organisation you deal with. Once a user account is infected, the malware forwards itself to all the users’ email contacts, increasing the likelihood of further infection.

Here is an example of one of these emails, but it can come in many different formats.

Cybersecurity example

How do I protect my business?
Always use caution before opening emails and attachments, and clicking on links.

To prevent malware infection, the ACSC recommends you take the following steps immediately:

• Disable Microsoft Office macros. (Macros are small programs used to automate simple tasks in Microsoft Office documents but can be used maliciously – visit the Microsoft website for information on disabling macros in your version of Office.)
• Maintain firewalls.
• Make sure you have a current offline backup of your information.
• Alert your staff to be aware of any emails that look unusual or suspicious. Refer to ACSC advice: https://www.cyber.gov.au/advice/improving-staff-awareness

Businesses requiring further assistance or advice regarding malware can contact the ACSC by emailing ASD.Assist@defence.gov.au

More information
Stay Smart Online has more advice on how to protect yourself from malware and, if you run a business, developing an incident response plan.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has a fantastic guide to help protect from the most common cyber security incidents. Their Step-by-Step Guides will make it easy for you to implement some of the recommended actions.

On the 13th November Business Tasmania is running ‘How to protect your business from a cyber threat’ events in Hobart and Launceston.

Businesses, no matter how small, need to be aware that a cyber security incident can have a devastating impact. The free event will show you how to stay alert and be prepared for cyber threats.

Book your ticket here:




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Derwent Valley Council
The Derwent Valley Municipal area is characterised by its ever growing rural townships, green hills and river valley environment. Major features of the Derwent Valley municipality include its land and fresh water resources.
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New Norfolk Tas 7140
Fax: 03 6261 8546
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