The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a sudden boom in online purchasing trends, forcing retailers to focus more on online business. However, this has also exposed their networks across the internet and resulting in an increase in the number of cyberattacks on these organizations. Cybercriminals are attempting all their tricks and tools to exploit organizations in the retail sector.

Cyberattacks on retail

Since January, several retail organizations, such as Boggi Milano, FatFace, Tesco, JFC International, Dairy Farm International Holdings, have been hit. 
  • Ransomware attacks are the top threat for the sector with major active players including Conti, REvil, and Egregor. Most of these attacks are following double-extortion tactics.
  • In addition, malware such as Dridex, Furball, and Qakbot were found to be used in attack campaigns aimed at retail firms. Moreover, a nation-state threat actor, Domestic Kitten, was seen actively targeting the organizations in the retail sector.

Tactics and motives

Some of the recently observed cyberattacks have been discovered to be using vishing calls, SMS spamming, phishing emails, and skimming as attack vectors. 
  • Most of these attacks seem to be focused on data theft and causing disruption to targeted organizations. 
  • Financial gain still remains one of the major motives behind these attacks.

A recent SonicWall Cyber Threat Report provided some insight into ongoing cyber trends impacting the retail sector. 

Insights from the report

  • The report indicates that ransomware threats increased 62% globally and 158% in North America during the pandemic.
  • For these attacks, the most impacted sectors included retail (365% increase in attacks), healthcare (123%), and government (21%) sectors.


COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in an increase in the risks associated with online businesses and retail organizations need to proactively update their security shields to face these challenges. Therefore, retail firms are recommended to invest regularly in their existing security solutions to stay protected.

Cyware Publisher