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COVID-19 and Cybercrime – Europol Threat Assessment

Rapid change has been noticed since Europol opens up the Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) Report of last year. There is a new way of living with the use of the internet after the global COVID 19 pandemic hit the world. The use of the internet for every sec use has made mandatory growth of cybercrime on a large scale. It is now a new normal to shop, learn, and work online. Europol publishes this statement in the 7th annual IOCTA. The goal of the IOCTA is to map the cybercrime threat landscape and learn how law enforcement responds to it.


In the last 12 months, cybercrime has matured into a serious reality. The conditions created by the global pandemic have accelerated the pace of change in the cyber world. With increased digitalization came the increased threat of cyber-attacks. The primary cybercrime tendencies driven by COVID-19 are mentioned in Europol’s Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment.

What are the main dangers?

  • Ransomware affiliate programs have allowed a bigger number of threat actors to target large enterprises with multi-level extortion threats.
  • As fraudsters try to get beyond multi-factor authentication and other security measures, mobile malware has advanced.
  • Phishing and social engineering are the key attack vectors in online buying, which has increased online fraud.
  • Anonymous coins and trading services are popular among dark web users. Furthermore, the use of legitimate services like VPNs and encrypted chat platforms is on the rise.


Getting the Detailed Ideas of the Online Threats 

Ransomware groups have used the pandemic to undertake sophisticated and targeted attacks. Organized crime groups and their associates continue to carry out well-planned manual attacks, mostly against large corporations.

The Solar Winds and Kaseya breaches show how hackers profit from targeting the weakest connections in digital supply networks. DDoS assaults have also resurfaced, with businesses, financial institutions, and service providers being targeted.

Threat actors are increasingly relying on grey infrastructure to improve their operational security.

Rogue bit coin exchanges, bulletproof holsters, and VPNs are all available through grey infrastructure services, which serve as a haven for adversaries. As a result, criminal investigations have been made more difficult.


Malware Receives Supreme Power

Through victim reconnaissance, ransomware attacks have gotten more sophisticated, focusing on specific public and private sector organizations.

Ransomware assaults on the healthcare business were occurring long before the crisis, while the COVID-19 epidemic has sparked an uptick in cybercrime.


Other Mobile Malware

Cybercriminals have turned mobile malware into a scalable business by building overlay assaults, SMS spamming, and 2FA disruption, thus it gets its section. Let’s take a look at the top dangers that are currently wreaking havoc on the mobile threat landscape

Malicious apps – malware-infected apps have grown in popularity, particularly those targeting Android smartphones. An upgraded version of GravityRAT was recently discovered targeting high-profile Indian targets to steal sensitive information.

  • FluBot, for example, can display overlays for banking apps and Google Play authentication, allowing credential theft.
  • Phishing – phishing assaults on mobile devices have existed since the beginning of civilization. Attackers frequently send appealing lures, taking advantage of consumers’ familiarity with certain companies. To claim their prize, individuals simply need to input their credit card information.
  • Calendar spam – this attacks iOS devices by sending spam-filled invites to users via iCalendar files or ICS, effectively rendering the calendar worthless.

Cyber enemies are merciless and relentless in the pursuit of their nefarious goals. Given the foregoing results and facts, the first action should be to raise awareness of various types of cybercrime. Furthermore, putting in place proactive cybersecurity defenses would ensure that such intrusions and threats are protected and remedied.





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