Broker Check

As Cyberattacks Increase, Experts Fight Back

April 20, 2020

As reported on Cyber Security Intelligence there is good news along with the bad.

Cyber attacks are up 500% in a month!

Taking advantage of panic and chaos caused by COVID-19, hackers are exploiting workers from home. Phishing is the easiest and cheapest way for hackers to penetrate organizations' networks. Users of mobile devices are more at risk, as it is easier to mistakenly click on harmful links.

Officials in both the United Stares and United Kingdom are warning that cyber criminals and advanced persistent threat groups are targeting individuals and organizations with ransomware and malware. Scams include purported messages from WHO or governments that are actually phishing attacks. Hackers have unsuccessfully targeted HHS and WHO. They have been using emails, PDF attachments and software as a service to gain access. In addition to professionals, "recreational" hackers with time on their hands (and probably hoping to make money) are joining the assault. 

Network engineers, technicians and administrators are working to contain the threats. Domain registrars are trying to stop registration of website names linked to COVID-19 which may be phishing sites or used to sell counterfeit goods.

Overall, use of the Internet is growing, most notably with visits to tutoring, political, TV and gardening websites increasing by 200-400%. Using personal computers and working under stressful conditions may lead to relaxed security and more vulnerability. Check for obvious signs of fake emails (e.g poor spelling or grammar) and suspect attempts to get an immediate response.

Experts fight COVID-19 cyber attacks.

Hundreds of security experts, including researchers from Microsoft, ClearSky, Cyber Security, and Okta have come together as the "COVID-19 CTI League" to help the medical community fight cyber attacks. Members will help hospitals and healthcare facilities fend off ransomware and other threats. The League's objectives will be to boost cyber defense capabilities and train employees to identify and thwart cyber attacks.

Hospitals worldwide have seen an increase in malware and ransomware. Aging infrastructure and willingness to pay makes them soft targets. Attacks on healthcare institutions could lead to loss of life as well as financial loss. All efforts to counter these threats are encouraging.