Positive Technologies’ latest cybersecurity threat report says that the number of cyberattacks in Q1 2020 was up by nearly a quarter compared to Q4 2019. Its experts found that:

  • the total number of attacks was up 22.5% compared to the last quarter of 2019
  • 13% of phishing attacks were related to COVID-19
  • 23 very active APT groups were targetting government agencies, industrial, financial and medical organisations
  • 34% of malware attack used ransomware
  • cybercriminals were using more than one type of malware, such as multifunctional trojans or injecting multiple types of malware into compromised devices.

“[Our] experts saw an increase in COVID-19 phishing emails from the second half of January,” comments Alexey Novikov, Director of PT Expert Security Center. “The pandemic situation was used both for mass malware campaigns and APT attacks.”

In Q1, Emotet, Remcos, AZORult, Agent Tesla, LokiBot, TrickBot, and many other trojans were distributed under the guise of official information about infection statistics, a vaccine, and prevention measures, allegedly coming from government authorities and medical institutions. Groups such as TA505, Hades, Mustang Panda, APT36, SongXY, and South Korean Higaisa also sent emails laced with malicious attachments related to the pandemic.

For these and other findings see Positive Technologies’ latest report on the cybersecurity threatscape.

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa is the Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and has over 25 years' experience in the telecoms and technology markets. She is an expert on SME and enterprise telecoms, and has considerable vertical market expertise. Her research focus lies in helping B2B telecoms firms become more commercially successful by better understanding and meeting their customers' needs. She is a judge of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GloMo's) for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

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