Europol said in its report that it expected the number of cyberattacks to increase further as the crisis continues
Criminals exploiting the covid-19 crisis have been blamed for a cybercrime explosion across the EU in March. And the trend is expected to increase further, Europol warned in a recent report.
Among the main cybercrimes listed in the EU law enforcement agency’s report, “Pandemic profiteering”, were phishing campaigns to disseminate malicious links to execute malware and ransomware attacks, business email compromise campaigns, scams that exploit a growing demand for information and supplies, and child grooming attempts.
A spokesperson from Luxembourg’s government reporting platform, the Computer Incident Response Center (Circl), told Delano on Tuesday: “During the last weeks we saw an increase of spam, scam and phishing attempts in relation with the coronavirus. Goals of these attacks seem to be to abuse the situation to spread disinformation, steal passwords, spread malware and steal money by selling non existing products and fake medicines.”
Another worrying trend has been attacks on critical health infrastructures such as hospitals.
Responding to a press question on Friday, Luxembourg health minister Paulette Lenert (LSAP) said local hospitals were subject to attempted cyberattacks on a daily basis but cyber security measures had been effective in blocking them. “I’ve no knowledge of a particular problem affect a hospital,” she said. “All the systems are protected and the people responsible for cybersecurity are sufficiently up to date to block these attempts.”
The University Hospital in Brno, Czechia, was not so fortunate. According to Europol, the incident forced the hospital to postpone urgent surgeries and reroute new acute patients to a nearby alternative hospital. The hospital, meanwhile, had to close its IT network for the duration of the attack.
The Circl spokesperson said he had not seen any serious attacks against hospitals or the health sector and said internet structures were “still very stable” despite increased use for remote working.
Europol said in its report that it expected the number of cyberattacks to increase further as the crisis continues.