Luas website hack "first of many" to come, warns cybersecurity firm 6 months ago

Luas website hack "first of many" to come, warns cybersecurity firm

A "sharp rise" in ransomware attacks has been seen in the first few days of 2019.

Following Thursday morning's hacking of the Luas website, a cybersecurity firm has warned that such attacks are set to increase in 2019.

The tram operator was held to ransom for the sum total of one Bitcoin.

You are hacked," began the statement posted to the Luas website.

"Some time ago, I wrote that you have serious security holes. You didn't reply. The next time someone talks to you, press the reply button.

"You must pay 1 bitcoin in 5 days, otherwise I will publish all data and send emails to your users."

Luas later confirmed that their site was down via a statement, opting to use Twitter as they worked on the issue.

Cybersecurity firm Smarttech 247 has reported an increase in ransomware attacks in the first few days of 2019, warning that the Luas hack is "likely the first of many" in 2019.

“Although it’s only three days into the new year Smarttech247 team have already seen a sharp rise in ransomware attacks," says Smarttech 247 CEO Ronan Murphy.

"These are primarily spreading via email where they appear to be a Microsoft document (word, excel).

"The Ransomware will attack any server or computer which does not have adequate protection and this includes web servers that host websites and applications."

Businesses and members of the public are urged to ensure that their computers have the necessary protection to fend off any potential ransomware attack.

At time of writing on Thursday afternoon, the Luas website remains offline.