"Alarming rate" of cyberattacks taking place since Covid outbreak 1 month ago

"Alarming rate" of cyberattacks taking place since Covid outbreak

Criminals are taking advantage of people working from home.

There has been an "alarming rate" of cyberattacks taking place since the outbreak of Covid-19, a new report has found.

In one four-month period (January to April 2020) some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs – all in some way related to Covid-19 – were detected by one of INTERPOL’s private sector partners.

INTERPOL is an international organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control across 194 countries.

It found that there was a rise in online scams, phising, disruptive malware, data harvesting malware, malicious domains, and misinformation in general, since the beginning of the year.

As well as an increase in people from working home, criminals have also been taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits and cause disruption.

Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General, said: "Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by Covid-19.”

The report also predicts that when a Covid-19 vaccination becomes available, it is highly probable that there will be another spike in phishing scams related to these medical products "as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data."

The highest profile of these attacks came last month, where a number of the world's most famous people had their Twitter accounts hacked by a bitcoin scammer.