The coronavirus pandemic slowed growth and development in almost all sectors, but targeted cyber attacks were the exception. Their numbers grew during the pandemic, revealed a report by CrowdStrike, reported by the VentureBeat portal. The company also predicts that the attackers will be equally active in 2021.
Up to 104 health organizations were attacked
CrowdStrike said that since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been many more cases where criminal organizations have tried to steal data from large institutions, such as hospitals, and subsequently demand ransom for the data.
In 2020, a total of 104 health organizations were attacked. They will continue to face attacks this year, which could jeopardize the ability to provide health care in critical times of the pandemic. CrowdStrike said that the fears and anxieties associated with the coronavirus provide attackers with the perfect conditions to carry out attacks.
In 2021, the coronavirus vaccine research attacks are expected to come from criminal organizations in China and North Korea.
Cyber attacks were also widespread in 2020
In July 2020, the US Department of Justice indicted two Chinese nationals from large-scale cyber attacks. Their latest attacks targeted US COVID-19 research centers. Spain has also been the victim of an attack in which Chinese attackers stole information about the development of a conoravirus vaccine in September 2020.
Attackers from Russia were also active. In July 2020, the governments of the United States, Great Britain and Canada published information describing the campaign of a criminal group called Cozy Bear aimed at COVID-19 research centers. CrowdStrike also identified an increase in Latin American hacker groups.
So-called supply chain attacks are popular
Hackers like to use the so-called supply chain attack. The goal of this type of attack is to affect not only a specific company, but also its customers or other companies with which it cooperates. In this way, they gain access to more data without having to make any extra effort.
Supply chain attacks are nothing new. CrowdStrike identified them as a growing threat as early as 2018 and believes that attackers will continue to use them. While “one-off” attackers use this type of attack to make a financial profit, criminal organizations use it to spy.
Organizations need to place more emphasis on protecting their data
CrowdStrike concluded with a number of recommendations that organizations should follow to reduce further attacks.
The ability to intervene quickly is especially important. Companies must also understand that it is their responsibility to secure data not only on cloud storage, but also on local ones.
Finally, CrowdStrike said organizations must make multifactor verification mandatory and should implement strict solutions to split and restrict access to data.
Attackers could spy on you through a vulnerability in the Telegram application