A valuable lesson
But hindsight is a wonderful thing. ANZ Chief Financial Officer, Technology Louise Higgins wishes she had set up MFA for online accounts from the start on her LinkedIn account – because she recently fell victim to having her account hacked.
“The first clue was I found one day I couldn't access my LinkedIn account. But we lead busy lives and I thought, well, actually, not being able to access LinkedIn today is not my top priority,” says Louise.
“But a few days later, I had one of those heart stopping moments where suddenly a lot of your friends, colleagues, network are texting you and saying, ‘hey, we're getting some strange messages from your LinkedIn account’. You could be hacked.”
Louise was unable to get access to her LinkedIn account because the hacker gained access and changed the login details connected to the account.
They then reached out to her network, in a tone of voice very similar to hers, saying ‘hey, I've got a great opportunity for you. Can you remind me of your mobile number?’
“I think this is the scary bit, how sophisticated it got” says Louise.
A fair proportion of her network actually responded with their mobile details, as it looked like an authentic message.
They were then sent what looked like a very authentic link to a Zoom meeting and again many in her network clicked it, which in turn provided the hackers with their details.
“The trauma came from several places,” Louise says. “First, the heart stopping moment of ‘I think someone else is sending out messages on my behalf’. Secondly, realising that you are responsible for others providing their personal information and thirdly, the ramifications that then had on some of my network - having their accounts hacked.”
She adds “it was a terrifying experience but a good wake-up call to go through and make sure every other platform or application that you use isn't compromised, that you have got strong passwords and, most importantly, you've got that multi factor authentication.”
“It could have been much worse but it's a very valuable lesson”.