ESET Company conducted a study about cyber threats against the backdrop of a pandemic that users encountered during self-isolation. The survey was attended by about 2,000 users.
According to a multivariate survey, spam on the topic of coronavirus affected more than a third (36%) of respondents. The spread of malware, including trojans and viruses, affected 22% of respondents.
In addition, scammers organized massive phishing attacks using the WHO name and official logo. Such attacks affected 12% of users.
Another 11% of users were victims of the so-called “sexual extortion”. In English, the term sextortion, derived from the words sex (“sex”) and extortion (“extortion”), is used to indicate such activity. This tactic involves intimidating users: as a rule, scammers send spam, in which they try to convince their victims that they have some incriminating images or videos, and demand a ransom.
Earlier, ESET analysts already warned about cybercriminals who blackmail users with non-existent recordings of intimate videos from a webcam and screen. Fraudsters threaten to send such a video to all contacts of the victim and, worse, following the latest trends, they promise to infect the user and all members of his family with a coronavirus if he does not pay the ransom!
The survey also showed that 57% of users did not encounter any cyber threats during self-isolation.
ESET also collected data on the most popular sites through which the listed cyber threats were distributed. The leading positions are occupied by social networks (68%), followed by instant messengers (25%), fake online stores and pharmacies (24%) and fake medical sites (23%). E-mail was used as a tool for cyberattacks against the background of coronavirus in 21% of cases.
ESET experts recommend being wary of any messages in instant messengers and social networks, especially if they are prompted to enter bank card information for buying masks, antiseptics, tests for coronavirus and so on. Also, you should not download files whose sender promises to provide “secret” information about the coronavirus, as they may turn out to be malicious.