Cybercriminals took advantage of the pandemic and launched campaigns, says firm

Photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Cybercriminals took advantage of the pandemic and launched campaigns, says firm

Cybercriminals took advantage of the COVID-19, adjusting their cybercrime campaigns aimed at luring their victims with pandemic-based themes and exploiting the realities of people working from home.

Consequently, Q2 2020 saw pandemic-themed cyberattack detections rise 605% over the previous quarter, says McAfee, a device-to-cloud cybersecurity firm, in its recent cybercriminal activity study conducted with the help of over a billion sensors in India and other geographies.

The company also saw an average of 419 new threats per minute, with the overall new malware samples growing 11.5%. It saw PowerShell malware surge 117% due to proliferation of the malicious Donoff documents; new Coinmining malware increased 25%; new Linux malware increased 22% due to Gafgyt and Mirai Internet of Things activity; mobile malware grew 15% driven by Android Mobby Adware surge; publicly disclosed security incidents rose 22% and incidents targeting technology industry spiked 91%, as per the report.

“The second quarter of 2020 saw continued developments in innovative threat categories such as PowerShell malware and the quick adaptation by cybercriminals to target organisations through employees working from remote environments,” said Raj Samani, McAfee fellow and chief scientist.

“What began as a trickle of phishing campaigns and the occasional malicious app, quickly turned into a deluge of malicious URLs, attacks on cloud users and capable threat actors leveraging the world’s thirst for more information on COVID-19 as an entry mechanism into systems across the globe,” he added.