August 4, 2020, 07.19 PM

LYON, KOMPAS.com – On Monday, Interpol warned of an “alarming” rate of cybercrime attacks during the coronavirus pandemic with criminals coming after major institutions.

The global police body shared that these online attackers are taking advantage of people working from home that has resulted in a “significant target shift.”

As such, cybercrime attacks changed their targets from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments, and critical infrastructure.

Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic situation created by Covid-19," said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock.

"The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefences are up to date," he added.

The report said cybercriminals were sending Covid-19 themed phishing emails — which seek to obtain confidential data from users — often impersonating government and health authorities.

Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and healthcare institutions, it added.

In the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a rise in ransomware attacks, in which users have to pay money to get their computer to work again.

There was also an increase in the spread of fake news and misinformation which sometimes itself conceals malware, said Interpol.

From January to April, some 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs — all related to Covid-19 were detected by one of Interpol's private sector partners, it said.

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