Wed, August 26, 2020

No End In Sight To COVID-19 Themed Cyberattacks

The level of cybercriminal activity related to the COVID- 19 pandemic continues to rise, and these attacks are likely to continue even when a vaccine for the virus is discovered. Phishing attacks purporting to share information about any eagerly awaited COVID-19 vaccine will be launched long before it ever becomes available.

From January through April, roughly 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware, and 48,000 malicious URLs have some connection to COVID-19. There has been a significant increase in cybercriminals registering domain names containing keywords, such as “coronavirus” or “COVID.” Additionally, from February to March 2020, 569% growth occurred in malicious registrations and a 788% growth in high-risk registrations.

Threat actors have revised their online scams and phishing schemes to launch COVID-19 themed phishing emails, often impersonating government and health authorities. Besides, in the first two weeks of April, there was a spike in ransomware attacks by multiple threat groups, which previously had been relatively dormant. Additionally, the usage of data harvesting malware is on the rise, and cybercriminals have become more adept at accurately estimating the maximum amount of ransom they can demand from organizations that fall victim to ransomware attacks.

Be aware and maintain your employees on alert.  Both individuals and organizations need to be vigilant when it comes to Cybersecurity as people work more often from home. The economic downturn brought on by the pandemic persists, so be informed of business email compromise schemes where criminals attempt to trick finance departments into wiring funds to pay off bogus invoices. While none of these attacks are new, what has changed is the volume as the number of attacks using COVID-19 lures increases, the actual instances where the attacker is likely to be successful also increases.

We are all looking forward to the day when most employees return to the office on a full-time basis. However, given how long it might take to discover and test a vaccine, then inoculate enough people to make it effective, be well advised to plan for the worst in the very short term.

Centrality has multiple ways to help your business manage through these murky waters. From our Managed Services to DAtAnchor, to our top-notch Cybersecurity, we are there to provide service and training to assist your business through these pandemic times. Contact us at 502.267.2552 to learn more.

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