Experts: The pandemic has increased the activity of cybercriminals

Experts: The pandemic has increased the activity of cybercriminals

The fight against the pandemic means that fraudsters have many opportunities to launch cyber attacks, including against bank customers. Cooperation with law enforcement agencies is very important - assessed on Friday experts participating in the conference held at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University.

The "Internet Safety" conference was held in Warsaw for the twelfth time on October 22-23, this year it was called "Cyberpandemia".

Adam Lange, director at Standard Chartered Bank, reminded that the area of ​​threats includes many types of attacks against which we are forced to defend ourselves. "We often omit some elements, but this is due to the fact that we have low awareness that certain settings and processes can lead to a misfortune, i.e. an effective cyberattack" - he assessed.

Lange noted that cyber attacks are often "very silent", which means they are effectively hidden from analysts and companies tracking cybercriminal activity.

"It all starts with the users" - pointed out the expert. He added that 2020 is not only the year of the pandemic but also the year of "phishing" and data leaks related to ransomware attacks or improper configuration of cloud services.

According to the expert, between the first quarter of 2019 and the corresponding period of 2020, there was an increase in data leakage by 200 to 300%, depending on the source of information.

Lange said that new criminal groups using new tools had emerged during the pandemic. "According to estimates, about 10% of Fortune 500 employees have lost their data, and 20% of companies have experienced a data leak," he added.

The expert noted that the scale of impersonating internet users is currently growing. For example, phishing websites or Facebook profiles are created.

"Another phenomenon is fake e-commerce sites that peak at 10 a week," said Lange. He pointed out that contact details and payment or credit card numbers are obtained by shops offering fictitious, e.g. masks or other items that can be used to fight the coronavirus. Lange noticed that all data obtained in this way was monetized.

As an example of the fact that the threat affects everyone, he mentioned the attack on the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution, which has the data of a large part of justice employees.

Piotr Balcerzak from the Polish Bank Association said that in the case of the financial sector, the time of the pandemic also means the need to maintain infrastructure, which is also being attacked by cybercriminals.

Balcerzak stated that for the banking sector, the fight against cybercrime also means close cooperation with law enforcement agencies, including the National Prosecutor's Office and the police. In his opinion, in this case, fast and effective communication with these authorities is also important in order to effectively and quickly fight fraud attempts.

The expert mentioned that the time of the pandemic and the digitization of the government's aid instruments gave cyber criminals the possibility of attacks, e.g. when submitting applications under the PFR shield, where victims pass on to fraudsters who pretend to be PFR, or who offer advice when submitting an application, a very extensive and deep scope of data.

Balcerzak drew attention to - often non-standard - measures to protect against attacks. He also noticed that, for example, solving the issue of wearing a mask in the case of authorizing services with the use of customer photos turned out to be a big problem. (PAP)

Author: Piotr Gozdowski