Coronavirus-Related Cyberattacks Still A Major Threat

Coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic has completely turned the entire world upside down with chaos, and for the cybercriminals, this has become an opportune time to strike.

Latest victims in healthcare victims

The healthcare sector faced most of the heat, as cybercriminals launched a targeted campaign of phishing, ransomware, and DDoS attacks on healthcare organizations.
  • Recently, cybercriminals targeted a contractor for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Dr Reddy’s Laboratories was targeted by a cyberattack, after which it had to shut down its plants in Brazil, India, Russia, the U.K, and the U.S.
  • About more than a week ago, Japanese research institutions working on coronavirus vaccines were hit by cyberattacks that originated from China.

Other recent attacks

Besides the healthcare sector, attackers have been attempting to target organizations in other sectors, including government and education.
  • Few weeks ago, scammers launched a credential phishing email claiming to have an important document related to coronavirus relief funds from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Besides, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the pandemic-led restrictions imposed on the educational sector, such as online classes. Recently, Springfield Public Schools district was hit by a ransomware attack.

The COVID-19 trend so far

Cybercriminals favor common infection vectors such as phishing, spam email, luring, social engineering, and malware attacks.
  • According to Accenture, a 60% increase has been observed in the average ransom payment in the first three months of 2020.
  • According to a survey, one-third of Canadian IT workers stated that their organization suffered a coronavirus-themed cyberattack.
  • Cyberattacks have increased up to 400% a day in comparison to pre-coronavirus levels, according to NordVPN.
  • According to a recent report by Microsoft, cybercriminals are increasingly using sophisticated methods and socially engineered lures to target their potential victims.

Conclusion

The pandemic has become one of the largest cyber-pandemic as well, where the whole world is getting affected by it. According to experts, following basic security hygiene is very important, such as avoiding unknown emails, taking a backup of important data, staying up-to-date, and using a reliable antivirus.