As people spend more time online owing to the pandemic, cyber threats have increased exponentially. Our research indicates a spurt in the number of cyber threats not just in India but also globally.
– Suspicious domain names registration: We noticed that a lot of domain names have been registered during the pandemic. Till June 3rd, we have identified about 450,000 domains registered related to coronavirus, COVID-19 etc. Many of these domains do not have legitimate information and are suspicious in nature.
– Online scamming: As people are doing work from home and busy more with the computer and internet, scammers are taking advantage of this. Scammers are continuously sending spam emails. In CPF, we have deployed SPAM honeypot which stimulates an open relay. There are a number of phishing, scamming emails that have been captured in the honeypot.
– Cyberattacks on Critical Information Infrastructure: During the crisis of coronavirus attackers nowadays attack healthcare sector like hospitals, clinics etc. These vulnerable exposed systems that are unmonitored and facing the internet are the most attacked system for the attackers. The vulnerable internet-facing system having Remote Desktop Protocol(RDP) enabled, old Windows serve Platform are the most attacked. Many ransomware attacks have taken place in the healthcare sector during the crisis especially in April 2020.
Attackers have targeted the medical manufacturing sector, billing system (and even Nuclear Plants) etc. through ransomware. The most common ransomware that has been seen during COVID-19 are NetWalker ransomware, PonyFinal ransomware, Maze ransomware etc.
Vineet Kumar, Founder of CyberPeach Foundation, who has been working at ensuring cyber safety since 2003.
Source: Article “Building Resiliency Against Cybercrimes: CyberPeace Foundation” published by Express Computer
Note: According to various reports, India has seen a 37 per cent increase in cyberattacks in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, as compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year. The number of local threats in Q1 2020 in India (52,820,874) shows how frequently users are attacked by malware spread via removable USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and other “offline” methods.