COVID-19 Related Malicious Cyber Activities on the Rise

Malicious cybercriminals have taken advantage of COVID-19 to commit crimes. The Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has been receiving lots of complaints from businesses, governmental institutions, and individuals.

They have all been dealing with COVID-19-themed phishing campaigns and scams. Without the right training and ability to detect suspicious content, it is easy to be a victim of malicious cyber activities.

Cybercrime has increased significantly since the emergence of the pandemic. The ACSC receives an average of 4400 cybercrime reports every month. Usually, they respond to about 168 of them. However, things have changed since 10th March, 2020. Some of the most significant ones are:

  • They received over 95 reports of cybercrime. The cases were about Australians losing their private information or money to COVID-19-themed online scams
  • They identified and disrupted more than 150 malicious COVID-19-themed sites
  • They responded to 20 incidents affecting some of the biggest suppliers in the COVID-19 climate

COVID-19 Related Malicious Cyber Activities

Common Types of COVID-19 Cyberattacks

1. Malicious Domains

The number of malicious domains with terms like ‘coronavirus,’ ‘COVID-19’, and ‘corona-virus’ is alarming. Even though some of the sites may be legitimate, cybercriminals have created hundreds of fake ones. They use them for phishing and spam campaigns.

2. Ransomware

Cases of ransomware have been increasing significantly in the recent past. Ransomware cybercriminals target hospitals and public institutions.

They target institutions that may have lots of sensitive data. They are now targeting institutions whose systems may have overwhelming data because of the crisis. They use malicious links and email attachments to get into the system.

3. Malware

The spread of the coronavirus has made it easy for cybercriminals to hide their activities. They embed their Trojans and Malware to coronavirus sites. They may also use spam links to get users to download their malware.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals continue to come up with creative ways to take advantage of the current environment. According to the ACSC, all individuals and organisations must remain vigilant. Organisations must train their employees to detect suspicious files. Even though cybercriminals now use sophisticated scams, it is still possible to detect and avoid them.

Recommendations for Prevention

Since many people are now staying home and working remotely, it is eth ideal time to focus on cybersecurity. Some of the most important tips for individuals and institutions are:

1. Safeguard Important Information

You have to protect all your important information. Back up important files and store them independently.

Do not click on any suspicious links. Always check to confirm that you are opening a company’s legitimate site before putting in your login information. Do open random links as they could be malicious. Use email gateways to keep threats away. If you are not expecting any deliveries, do not click on links from delivery services.

All companies should use the latest anti-virus software. With sufficient protection, it may be difficult for attackers to get into your system.

Do not download mobile applications from suspicious or unknown platforms. Always check to confirm that you are getting your apps from secure platforms.

Update your passwords as often as you can and do not share them with anyone. All passwords must be strong and unique. They should include uppercase, lower case, special characters, and numbers.

2. Education

Speak to your family members and employees about the need to be vigilant. Teach them about simple ways to be safe. If you suspect that your employees or someone you know is a victim of cybercrimes, inform the authorities as soon as possible.

If you have questions about the use of technology to meet your business objectives, consider seeking help from Sydney Technology Solutions.