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News & Views

Covid-19 cyber attacks

Leveraging new attack data from the VMware Carbon Black Cloud, VMware Carbon Black ( has published new research outlining how cybercriminals are capitalising on the shift to remote work amid COVID-19.

According to VMware Carbon Black analytics between 4 – 7 February 4 2020 there has been a 70% increase in remote work.  

Ransomware attacks have increased by 148% over baseline levels from February to March 2020, with notable spikes in ransomware attacks reported on key days in the COVID-19 news cycle, such as when the US announced its first COVID-19 case (48% increase); the day multiple US states declared public health emergencies (66% increase); and the day the first death was announced in the US (66% increase).

The research also shows that the finance industry has been targeted the most by cybercriminals during the pandemic, with finance-related attacks accounting for 52% of all attacks seen across the dataset.

In February, Retail was a top targeted industry, but this quickly shrank in March as retailers suggesting that as retail organizations shifted to remote business models, attacks actually went down and attackers shifted to target financial organizations.

As the VMware Carbon Black Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) has found, attackers have been using COVID-19 to launch phishing attacks, fake apps/maps, trojans, backdoors, crypto miners, botnets, and ransomware, and as the COVID-19 battle continues globally, it’s clear attackers will continue to target vulnerable populations and organizations

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