- COVID-19-themed phishing and ransomware attacks risk will rise significantly as pandemic worsens over coming months
- Attackers will look to impersonate official health bodies to manipulate recipients into opening documents containing hidden malware
- Spread of disinformation by state actors will in part aim to facilitate increased success of COVID-19-themed cyberattacks
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a warning on 16 March over the rising threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) themed cyberattacks. This followed reports of such incidents worldwide, particularly against health infrastructure, typified by a ransomware attack against the Champaign Urbana Public Health District in the US state of Illinois, reported on 10 March. The attack brought down the district’s website. An unspecified attack on 13 March against a Czech hospital in Brno – which hosts a major testing laboratory for COVID-19 – forced a complete IT shutdown that required acute patients to be rerouted to an alternative hospital. Such attacks have also occurred in other sectors, with widespread reports of incidents targeting businesses in countries most heavily affected by the virus, particularly Italy and South Korea, in recent weeks.
Falanx Group Ltd (LON:FLX), through its subsidiaries, provides cyber defence and intelligence services to blue chip and government clients worldwide. It operates through Falanx Cyber Defence and Falanx Intelligence divisions.