As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase, the dependency on digital technologies and remote working is intensifying and business as well as social interactions are confined to video calls, and other chat applications. Such newfound dependency on digital has only broadened the surface for cyberattacks and related risks, which can potentially deprive individuals and enterprises access to their devices, data or even the internet. It’s no surprise that some of the conferencing apps with the highest usage during this time, have been the target of cybercriminals. An associated question being raised is also around data handling and data privacy as a whole lot of personal information and call data and logs – that are subject to privacy norms – are moving through these platforms.

Just a couple of weeks ago, more than 2,000 Israeli websites were defaced with an anti-Israeli video and a code that asked for permission to use visitors’ webcams. In some cases, the code attempted to take a picture of the user and send it to a remote server too. When the pandemic staring picking up steam in India, the district administrator’s office in Pathanamthitta, Kerala, was also prey to cyber attackers who came with a single intention – to disrupt information flow and operations. We also witnessed state sponsored hackers who were using this opportune time to infect their targets – Chinese, North Korean, and Russian government cyber spies were caught using COVID-19-themed emails to infect victims with malware.

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