7 Disturbing Statistics on Covid-19 Cybercrime
During the Covid-19 lockdown we’ve spent more time than ever online, whether it be working, shopping or zoom calling our friends.
Living digitally may be the new normal, but criminals have matched this by taking even more of their malicious activity online too.
There are now many disturbing new stats and trends we need to be aware of to ensure we remain secure online. But don’t fear too much. We’ve collected them here for you to help...
1. WFH lifestyle leads to 40% increase in vulnerability of remote desktop machines
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many more of us are now working from home. The number of remote desktop connections from home to workspaces has rapidly increased as a result. However, according to Channel Futures citing a Webroot study, this transition has led to the overall number of unsecured connections jumping up by more than 40 percent.
Unsecured connections make devices very vulnerable to cybercriminals. They can use brute force attacks to access a remote machine for their own devious ends.
2. Huge surge in number of RDP brute-force attacks since the start of the pandemic
According to data analyzed by Atlas VPN, during the first month of lockdown hackers attacked users in the US, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and China more than 148 million times.
These attacks attempt to search for usernames and password combinations until the correct one is found. A successful attack gives the cybercriminal remote access to a target computer in the corporate network, enabling them to steal data and confidential information.
3. Email scams related to Covid-19 spike by 667%
Analysis by the Barracuda Networks shows the number of email scams exploded rapidly thanks to Covid-19. Hackers are using consumer curiosity regarding the pandemic to gain personal info by sending fake emails and messages aimed at tricking you into clicking on malicious links or opening phishing attachments.
This type of cybercrime is the most common. However, Covid-19 related emails impact us in a more psychological way to make a profit. As the Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report claims, we are now three times more likely to click on a phishing link and enter our credentials than we were pre-Covid. This is especially true if it contains keywords such as “Covid” or “coronavirus”, “masks”, “test”, “quarantine”, and “vaccine”.
4. The infinite number of Covid-19 pages on the internet is growing
The number of Google results for the “Covid-19” phrase is increasing every day. At the end of August, it had 6.1 million search results, in mid-September — 4.8 billion results. Today the same search query has more than 6 billion pages. But this is not yet the limit as the pandemic continues. As long as we’re still reeling from the effects of Covid-19, then it will be the top of our search lists and for cybercriminals too.
5. Cybercriminals are creating thousands of shady Covid-19 websites
Check Point’s Global Threat Index shows how newly created websites related to the pandemic are 50% more likely to be malicious than all other domains registered in the same time period. Malicious coronavirus sites are designed for phishing and gaining people’s sensitive information in a bid to steal their money or take over their accounts.
6. More than half a million Zoom accounts sold on the dark web
According to BleepingComputer, there are over 500,000 genuine Zoom account login details sold on the dark web.
Cybersecurity company Cyble said many of the accounts found in this part of the internet were being sold for nothing. The accounts were mostly used for "Zoombombing," a form of cybercrime where hackers target Zoom calls.
7. Ransomware and Covid-19
VMware Carbon Black issued a report revealing how there has been a 148 percent spike in ransomware attacks. The numbers are worrying as the percentage is way higher than baseline levels. Ransomware has increased by 72 percent over the first half of the year. The focus for scammers is clear— using ransomware gives them opportunities to wreck serious financial and reputational harm on rich individuals and organizations.
Besides the cybercrimes we have listed above, there are many more coronavirus-related scams, including encrypted messaging app scams and fake news.
However, it’s not something we should fear. As long as we remain vigilant and stay up-to-date with the latest cybercrime trends, then we should be able to stay safe and live our best digital lives.