Interpol reveals ‘alarming rate’ of cyberattacks during Covid-19
06 Aug 2020

Interpol has released a report revealing a “significant target shift” of cybercrime from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure, underscoring the impact of Covid-19.

“With organisations and businesses rapidly deploying remote systems and networks to support staff working from home, criminals are also taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits and cause disruption,” Interpol says.

Over the four months from January to April, some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs – all related to Covid -19 – were detected by one of Interpol’s private sector partners.

“Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by Covid-19,” said Interpol secretary general Jürgen Stock. “The increased online dependency for people around the world, is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyber defences are up to date.

“The report’s findings again underline the need for closer public-private sector cooperation if we are to effectively tackle the threat Covid-19 also poses to our cyber health.”

Among the key findings of Interpol’s report, around two-thirds of member countries which responded to a global cybercrime survey reported a significant use of Covid-19 themes for phishing and online fraud since the outbreak.

Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware such as ransomware and DDoS against critical infrastructure and healthcare institutions, due to the potential for high impact and financial benefit.

In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a spike in ransomware attacks by multiple threat groups which had been relatively dormant for the past few months, where the majority of attackers were shown to have accurately estimated the maximum amount of ransom they could demand from targeted organisations.

Interpol also reported a rise in data harvesting malware using Covid-19 related information as a lure to gain access to networks, steal data, divert money and build botnets.

Read more at Regulation Asia

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