Threat actors don’t have much confidence in work-from-home security readiness either, and they’ve been pouncing on vulnerable users as a result. In fact, OpenText detected 121 million ransomware attacks in the first half of this year, 20% more than it recorded in all of 2019.
The financial impact of those attacks is way up too. According to Moffitt, the average ransom coming into 2020 was $84,000. By the middle of the year, it had reached $178,000. “I don’t see a scenario where we don’t hit a $200,000 average ransom amount being paid,” Moffitt says.
Predictably, about 90% of all malware references the coronavirus these days, he adds. According to OpenText’s research, furthermore, just under one-fifth of end users worldwide and 25% in the U.S. say they’ve received a coronavirus-related phishing email this year. Fully 29%, meanwhile, admit to falling for a phishing scam of some kind, including non-coronavirus ones, in the last 12 months.
Cybercriminals are well aware that their intended victims are at home, stressed out, and hungry for distraction too. Between March and July, phishing URLs targeting Netflix rose 646%, according to Webroot’s threat intelligence platform. In March alone, infected emails targeting YouTube spiked 3,064%.
Why the extra attention to YouTube? Compromise someone’s Netflix account, Moffitt notes, and at best you come away with a credit card number likely to be invalid within hours. Compromise their YouTube account and you’ve gained access to their Gmail inbox and Google Drive files as well.
“There’s a better return on investment when you go after YouTube,” Moffitt observes. “How many people have mission-critical work information that maybe they stored on their personal drives, or God forbid customer information or tax information, all in plain text and readily available for the criminal?”
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