COVID19 Creates Heightened Vulnerability with Cyber Attacks

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Today, COVID19 has created an economic and political disturbance, along with the increased cyberattacks with the creation of malicious pages and other forms. Cybersecurity firms, tech giants, and intelligence agencies are warning the people over this growing threat in the wake of the global pandemic.

Cloudflare, the web security and content delivery vendor, reports that the online threats have risen by six-times over the past four weeks. It has analyzed UK traffic figures for the given period and noted a sharp increase in malicious activity.

Elad Shapira, head of research at Panorays, writes in a research note that, “One of the reasons for this increased risk to the supply chain and the healthcare sector is a rise in the number of people who are now working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, companies now face technology risks such as unmanaged devices, shadow IT, and insecure access, along with human risks like increased phishing attempts.”

Microsoft has sent targeted notifications to several at-risk healthcare facilities. It has asked hospitals to stay alert of the ransomware threats that target the people through network devices. The company has singled out the ransomware program REvil, which exploits VPN and gateway vulnerabilities to gain a base in targeted places.

Apart from critical infrastructure systems, cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus crisis by selling COVID-19 test kits, Chloroquine, and N95 respirators for astronomical prices. The price of surgical masks and respirators are raised by 400% to 500%, while Chloroquine plus Azithromycin was sold between $500 and $1,000.

Ohad Zaidenberg, the lead cyber intelligence researcher at ClearSky Cyber Security, states, “It can be phishing attacks with social engineering methods playing on the fear of people or their wish to find a vaccine, it can be ransomware attacks against hospitals, it can be wipers. Every attack has its cases, and in some cases, the causes might be death.”

While healthcare organizations are battling the pandemic, they are also forced to protect themselves from the heightened cybersecurity threats.