The Covid-19 pandemic that swept the world in 2020 altered everyone’s lives. Although some reputable firms have been capable of capitalise on the consequences of the pandemic, like tailoring merchandise for use when working from dwelling, many hackers and scammers additionally noticed this as a possibility, resulting in a brand new wave of cyber threats the place criminals leveraged Covid-19 to launch assaults.
In accordance with the info analysed by the Atlas VPN staff, 16.Four million Covid-19 associated cyber threats have been detected on-line in 2020.
Out of all of the Covid-19 associated cyber threats discovered final 12 months, practically 89 per cent or round 14.5 million assaults have been malicious spam. Subsequent up are harmful URLs — they made up just a little over 11 per cent, or 1.85 million of all Covid-19 themed cyber threats in 2020.
Lastly, lower than 1 per cent or near 33 thousand of final 12 months’s on-line threats that leveraged the pandemic have been malware. Whereas efficient, this cyber assault methodology requires extra superior technical know-how, which might have been the explanation why it was the least employed among the many three.
Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her ideas on the state of affairs: “The pandemic has created the proper storm for cybercriminals. To begin with, many firms have been pressured to shift to distant work, and fewer ready ones turned a fast acquire for on-line attackers. Secondly, the final panic and concern of the pandemic made folks extra inclined to such threats.”
The US is behind greater than a 3rd of Covid-19 associated cyber threats
The Covid-19 pandemic affected the entire world leaving no stone unturned, nevertheless, some international locations suffered greater than others. Usually, extremely affected international locations have been additionally those behind a lot of the Covid-themed on-line threats.
The vast majority of such threats originated in the US — the nation most affected by the pandemic. It was behind 38 per cent or 6.three million of Covid-related cyberattacks.
In complete, 28 per cent or 4.6 million of Covid-19 on-line threats got here from the three largest European international locations by way of their inhabitants: Germany, France, and the UK. In addition they belong to the highest ten international locations with essentially the most Covid-19 instances.
Cybercriminals in Australia have been additionally lively final 12 months and commenced over 770,000 Covid-19 themed assaults, which account for five per cent of all pandemic-related cyber threats of 2020. The origin of the remaining 29 per cent of pandemic-related cyberattacks is unknown.
What will be achieved
Because the battle with the Covid-19 remains to be ongoing, you will need to keep vigilant and avoid falling into cybercriminals’ traps. Listed below are some issues to remember:
Be cautious of Covid apps. By no means obtain apps from an untrusted or unknown supply. Such apps could disguise malware or adware. Simply because the app claims that will help you guard in opposition to Covid doesn’t make it credible. The identical recommendation applies to different recordsdata as properly.
Don’t click on on suspicious hyperlinks. Spam and malicious URLs make up the vast majority of Covid themed cyber threats. Cybercriminals usually use attention-grabbing messages, pressing language, and too good to be true guarantees to make you click on on their hyperlink. Nevertheless, in the event you do, you may find yourself putting in malware in your machine.
Hold your software program updated. At all times replace the software program in your units as quickly as potential to ensure it incorporates the newest safety patches. Cybercriminals are all the time on the lookout for vulnerabilities to take advantage of, don’t give them an opportunity to.
Again up your recordsdata. Ensure that to make copies of your recordsdata often. This manner, even in the event you expertise the worst-case situation the place your recordsdata get hacked, you may have backups.