A recent report by Trend Micro revealed that more than 16 million cyberattacks with a COVID theme were launched in 2020.
Indeed, it was found out that 16,393,564 threats were related to COVID-19, with 88% of the threats coming in spam emails and another 11% coming in the form of URLs. On the other hand, malware accounted for around 33,000 of the threats.
Most of these attacks came from countries that were the most impacted by the sanitary crisis such as the United States, as well as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
Threat actors have learned to make their attacks more sophisticated over time and they became aware that Social Engineering and Phishing attacks are more efficient when they have a relevant hook to bring in their victims. If the target identifies with the subject line, they will more likely open the email and fall for the attack.
Indeed, many spam emails were entitled ‘COVID-19 issue’ or ‘Important message on COVID-19’ as well as references to vaccines to get the target to open the email. Hence, this crisis created the perfect environment for cybercriminals to act.
Moreover, the report also noted that the rise in COVID-19-themed attacks was the result of businesses switching to remote working.
However, it is expected that these cyberattacks will continue to increase in the near future as the crisis is far from being over.