How Cybercriminals are Causing Disruptions

Since January 2020, Covid-19 has been impacting our beloved planet, and since then cyber crimes have shot up quite a bit as cyber-criminals are leaving no stones unturned to gain some quick bucks during this crisis. As an example; Google reported as much as 18 million phishing and malware scams related to COVID-19 during the week before Easter. But keep in mind, those 18 million numbers are not for the entire week, but 18 million per day for a week.

However, just like the tip of the iceberg, these are just the tip of Covid-19 related security threats. The cyber-criminals are now taking advantage of a massive number of people who are currently working from home. So, organizations around the planet are now facing various technological risks including shadow IT, insecure access, and unmanaged devices, along with human risks, which also include increased phishing attempts. 

On the other hand, even after the increase in cyber-attacks by quite a few folds and despite concerns related to it, remote workers aren’t practicing good cyber-security hygiene. Above all, a recent study has revealed that a majority of business leaders think that their organizations aren’t at risk of cyber-attack and they themselves aren’t educating their employees about increasing threats. Also, with each passing day, the cyber-criminals are now targeting the logistics industry and private vehicles more and more.

When the Access to Personal Data could Destabilize an Entire Society

Judith Duportail, a French journalist asked a dating app to send her all the personal data they had about her. In a shocking response, she received an 800-page long document, which contained all her likes and dislikes, each conversation she had with all the 870 matched persons since 2013 and the age of men she showed interest in.

This incident shows us a very grim picture of data protection and it underscores the fact that data protection is very much a challenging affair. It also paints a picture of how little transparency is there when it comes to processing and securing data, through which one can gain an accurate picture of an individual’s interest, choice and behavior.


When IoMT Increases the Risk

Since the last decade, various personal medical devices including insulin pumps, glucose monitors, and heart monitors have been connected to the internet as a part of the “Internet of Medical Things.”

Also, at the same time, researchers have identified multiple vulnerabilities and demonstrated the chance of cyberattacks on these products. This can eventually help cyber-criminals to gain access and can lead to targeted attacks on these products. In some of the cases, health information generated by these devices can also be intercepted by cyber-criminals. However, the healthcare and IT industry has failed to solve this issue specially when the equipment’s official life has expired.

Supply Chains at Risk

With a goal of greater efficiency and lowering day to day costs, smart supply chains leverage IoT automation, big data management, and robotics specifically those within the company and with their supplier. Additionally, the smart supply chains represent virtual warehousing, where any of the products can be located at any point in time.

With all these advantages, smart supply chains are also prone to various disruptions in the process. And cyber criminals can manipulate different information regarding deposits. So, the component won’t be there where they are supposed to be and the supply chain will face disruption and financial losses.

Threats to the Shipping Industry

Despite the current Covid-19 and geopolitical situations, trade amongst various countries are expected to grow. However, there is ample evidence that states are now experimenting with direct attacks on ship’s navigation systems. Also, few instances have also been reported where unknown cyber-criminals have attacked the computer networks of ships to extort ransom.

Many more aspects of the shipping industry can be vulnerable to these cyber-attacks, which can eventually paralyze the whole shipping industry. Attacks can be state-sponsored, or by any activist groups. All these together are increasing the importance of monitoring and understanding a key aspect of modern maritime cyber-security.

So, these are a few vulnerable areas about which the organizations themselves might not have any ideas. Additionally, vehicles and transport infrastructure are getting increasingly connected, to provide better drive-ability. However, with an increasing number of vulnerabilities, now cyber-criminals can exploit some of them with direct security-related implications. These cyber attacks might now effect the security of the road users, but it still can lead to widespread chaos and disruption in traffic.

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