Number of linked with COVID-19 attacks increased by 30,000%

Zscaler cloud security company experts report that the number of attacks associated with the coronavirus pandemic has increased by a record 30,000% since the beginning of the year, when the first threats and decoys of this kind were just beginning to appear.

So, only in March this year, researchers recorded about 380,000 attacks and malwares, associated with COVID-19. For comparison, in February of this year, there were about 10,000 such attacks.

“No, this is not a typo. Since January, we have seen a 30,000% increase in phishing, malware sites and malware, designed to attack remote users and associated with COVID-19. In January, we recorded and blocked a total of 1,200 such attacks. How much did we find in March? 380,000!”, – write Zscaler experts.

Also, Check Point experts noted that the coronavirus pandemic has created ideal conditions for cyberattacks.

Overall, Zscaler experts found an increase of 85% in pandemic-related phishing attacks targeting corporate users. In turn, the number of malicious sites and blocked malware samples increased by 25%. Finally, number of threats, aiming exclusively corporate users increased by 17%.

Number of COVID-19 attacks increased

Researchers also note that since January have been registered more than 130,000 suspicious domains associated with COVID-19, including those containing words like test, mask, Wuhan, kit, and so on.

Number of COVID-19 attacks increased

As social-distancing orders and lockdowns began to spread around the world, many people found themselves working from home and taking classes online for the first time, and many of those turned to the virtual private network (VPN) for security and privacy. This, of course, led to cybercriminals developing a fake VPN software campaign designed to trick users into downloading and installing malware by masquerading as a legitimate VPN client.

“We continued to see the skimmer gang Magecart remain active in the wild. We have blocked several instances of skimmer code infections on healthcare, pharmacy, and grocery sites as an increasing number of individuals resort to online shopping for daily essentials during the pandemic”, — write Zscaler researchers.

We reported that during a pandemic, resurrected even real zombies – half-forgotten malware like Zeus Sphinx.

According to the US Federal Trade Commission, which summarized the complaints of the victims, more than $19,000,000 has been lost since January 2020 due to coronavirus fraud. Moreover, last week, Google engineers reported that in just one week, Gmail blocked more than 18 million phishing and malicious emails with “coronavirus” theme.

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James Brown

Technology news writer and part-time security researcher. Author of how-to articles related to Windows computer issue solving.

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