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Coronavirus pandemic creates fertile environment for online scams

Coronavirus pandemic creates fertile environment for online scams
February 24, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided cyber criminals with a fertile ground to execute scams and reap the riches, NZTech Chief Executive Graeme Muller advised at the New Zealand Cyber-Security Summit in Wellington today.

Muller said cyber-attacks, designed to steal company and customer information, have rocketed, advising “Interpol reported that in a four-month period 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents relating to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs, all COVID-related, were detected.

“With many of us working or schooling from home, our concentration levels have been tested to the max. When under pressure and distracted, it is easy to click on a phishing email or unknowingly visit a scam website.

“The rush to remote working has created opportunities for hackers. Any company with lax security measures makes easy pickings.

“According to the security companies about a third of cyber-crime victims are small businesses.”

CERT NZ, the New Zealand Government agency that tracks cyber-crime, says 2600 cybercrimes were reported in the third quarter of last year, up more than over 100% from the previous year. Phishing, or credential harvesting, continues to be the most common crime and is growing about 30% a quarter.

The New Zealand Cyber-Security Summit is the largest gathering of cyber professionals in New Zealand, attended by those who work to protect businesses and organisations in Aotearoa.

Image: NZTech Chief Executive Graeme Muller. Credit: Supplied.

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