Thursday, September 19, 2019

Gothenburg Greats cyber security own goals of Aberdonians

Gerry Grant, chief security officer at Converged
Gerry Grant, chief security officer at Converged

The surnames of at least six Gothenburg Greats and the man who led them to victory could be putting Aberdonians and their employers at risk of a cyber attack.

That is the stark warning from north-east IT company Converged Communication Solutions which has discovered the names on a list of 100,000 passwords most commonly found in data breaches.  The list was recently released by the National Cyber Security Centre, the UK’s independent authority on cyber security, to encourage people to improve their online security.

Featuring on the list alongside ‘Red Army’, ‘Aberdeen’ and ‘Aberdeen1’, are ‘Black’, ‘Hewitt’, ‘Leighton’, ‘Miller’, ‘Cooper’, ‘Simpson’ and ‘Ferguson’, ‘Ferguson1’ and ‘Fergie’.  The date of the Dons’ 1983 triumph over Real Madrid also makes the list, as does the name of the man who scored Real Madrid’s only goal on the night, Juanito.

Converged is highlighting its findings from the list to advise people living in Aberdeen and north-east Scotland that they could be putting themselves at risk by using weak passwords to access online accounts.

Gerry Grant, chief security officer at Converged, said: “Basic passwords that are simply a surname can pose a massive risk to organisations of all sizes.  They can be the chink in an organisation’s cyber security defence that can let someone with malicious intent access their computer systems.  Any individual, business or charity can be a potential target for a cyber attack and it is important we all understand the threats we currently face and how we can go about protecting ourselves.”

The revelations come ahead of Converged hosting a free IT workshop in Aberdeen next week.  It is inviting businesses, charities and organisations to attend the workshop to learn how strong passwords can provide a first line of defence against cyber attacks and what other steps they can take to better protect themselves and their organisations online.

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