Covid-19 related cyberattacks continue to rise: McAfee



NEW DELHI: An increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic is well-known. But numbers put out by the global computer security software company, McAfee, are startling.

The company maintains a COVID-19 Threats Dashboard. According to the data, about 762,187 threats were detected in India between 2 May, 2020 and 18 April, 2021.

Globally, India ranks among the top three countries where McAfee has detected the most threats. The US is at the top, with over 2.5 million threat detections, followed by Spain at about 2 million.

Most of these threats were Trojan, a malware that allows cybercriminals to gain access to an individual’s or a company’s systems and devices.

For example, the malware can be in your mobile device or computer and steal sensitive financial data like bank account and credit card details.

Threats detected the worldwide totalled 10.45 million. Of these, 8,184 were unique. “Publicly disclosed incidents surged 100% in Europe from Q3 to Q4 2020. Incidents in Asia increased 84%, and in North America, they rose 36%,” said the report.

In the second quarter of 2020, the company captured a 605% rise in covid-19-related threats. andemic-related campaigns continued to increase in the third and fourth quarter of 2020.

“The volume of malware threats observed by McAfee Labs averaged 588 threats per minute, an increase of 169 threats per minute (40%) in the third quarter of 2020. The fourth-quarter volume averaged 648 threats per minute, an increase of 60 threats per minute (10%),” stated the report.

The report warned against clicking on unverified links and opening external email attachments. “Remind and test your workforce’s resistance against clicking unverified links and engaging external email attachments… Ransomware and malware targeting vulnerabilities in work-related apps and work processes were active in the last half of 2020 and remain dangerous threats capable of taking over networks and data while costing millions in assets and recovery costs,” stated the report.

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