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Over The First 100 Days of COVID-19 Mimecast Report Shows Key Trends in Malicious Activity

Over The First 100 Days of COVID-19 Mimecast Report Shows Key Trends in Malicious Activity


While the world has been targeted on managing the healthcare, monetary and social outcomes of the novel coronavirus, a war has been quietly raging as cybercriminals leverage the crisis to strengthen their activities. According to a new Mimecast report – entitled 100 Days of Coronavirus - that tracks cybercrime activity since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the quantity of malicious and opportunistic cybercrime throughout all sorts of cybercrime has multiplied considerably by 33% in the duration January to March 2020. The report gives a clear image of how malicious actors are exploiting possibilities and offers a detailed evaluation of all the developments throughout various regions, viewed by the Mimecast Threat Intelligence team.

The new report has discovered that, in the duration January to March 2020, monthly volumes of Spam and opportunistic cybercrime detections multiplied by 26.3%, Impersonation fraud detections increased by 30.3%, Malware detections increased by 35.16%, and Blocking of URL clicks multiplied by 55.8%, which means people are more likely now to click on hazardous links than before the outbreak.

Carl Wearn, head of e-crime at Mimecast, says “Many workers that unexpectedly discover themselves working from home, are not sufficiently outfitted or aware of cyber threats and may put their companies at hazard by engaging in risky behaviour. Considering the rise in threats and risky clicks as proven via the report, there is an urgent want for organizations to step up their cybersecurity awareness training efforts to make sure workers have the equipment and information to keep away from volatile online behaviour.”

In addition, over 115 000 Covid-19 associated spoof domains that are designed to steal private details have been detected since January.

When focusing on detections on Middle East and North Africa, the Threat Intelligence crew discovered excellent increases in malware and spam in the region. “In February and March, as the coronavirus began spreading in numerous of these countries, we noticed a 22% extend in malware and a 36% extend in spam. Most curiously was a 751% extend in risky clicks by users over the three-month period. This is probably an indication of people letting their guards down and determined to learn more, as communication channels have been flooded with data – both official and faux – about the virus”, says Wearn.

“Given the continuing uncertainty over our immediate future and the impact of the virus on various communities, threat actors and cybercriminals are probably to proceed to exploit the scenario and to evolve their strategies in accordance to the cutting-edge information cycle - with probably disastrous consequences for unwary employees and organisations," concluded Wearn.

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