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Interpol warns of cyberthreats during pandemic

Representative photo: Data analysis has confirmed that cybercriminals are capitalising on the anxiety caused by COVID-19 through tools like data-harvesting malware, ransomware, online scams and phishing.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Interpol has launched an awareness campaign on cyberthreats during the COVID-19 outbreak, in coordination with the law enforcement agencies across the world.

“The Central Bureau of Investigation, being the nodal agency in India for the Interpol, has informed the authorities concerned in the States about the campaign,” said a CBI official.

Through the international network, basic cyberhygiene advice will be provided during the campaign from May 4 to 31 to ensure that individuals and businesses are equipped with the knowledge to protect their systems and data.

Threats targeting people working from home during the lockdown will also be addressed and there will be prevention tips for companies, said the Interpol statement.

Watch | Cyberthreats during the COVID-19 pandemic

Capitalising on anxiety

The campaign will focus on social media outreach, highlighting the top threats that the Interpol has identified based on the data collected from its member countries, private industry partners, national cyber security agencies and online information-sharing groups, it said.

Data analysis has confirmed that cybercriminals are capitalising on the anxiety caused by COVID-19 through tools like data-harvesting malware, ransomware, online scams and phishing.

Craig Jones, Interpol’s director of cybercrime unit, said the police and the cybersecurity industry had seen a considerable increase in the number of targeted cyberattacks since the virus outbreak began. They range from malicious web domains using words like ‘covid’ and ‘corona’ to phishing emails promising sale of key supplies, apart from ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure and hospitals.

Coping with threats

The campaign was launched with the publication of a document on the “Global landscape on the Covid-19 cyberthreats,” which outlines the latest threats identified, expected future trends and the Interpol’s response.

The Interpol, which is developing and leading the global response to such attacks, uses Purple Notices to alert member-countries to the emerging and high-risk cyberthreats, provides technical guidance to victim organisations and conducts global cybercrime survey to better understand the rapidly evolving situation.

It is working in coordination with the online cybersecurity communities and public and private sectors to provide services to member countries for prevention, detection and investigation of cyber offences.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:20:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/interpol-warns-of-cyberthreats-during-pandemic/article31539121.ece

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