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Cybercrime spreads in Australia during COVID

Written by Tue 28 Sep 2021

Cyberattacks have surged since the beginning of the pandemic in Australia, according to new statistics from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). The number of cybercrimes grew by 13%, with there now being a form of cyberattack every eight minutes, in part due to the increase in home-working as COVID began.

Not only are threats in cyberspace on the up but more of these incidents have been categorised as ‘substantial’. The financial impact of these attacks totalled more than $33 billion, as cybercriminals focus on larger companies and enterprises. Of the over 67,500 cybercrime reports, close to 500 are related to ransomware

“The increasing frequency of cybercriminal activity is compounded by the increased complexity and sophistication of their operations,” says the report. “The accessibility of cybercrime services – such as ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) – via the dark web increasingly opens the market to a growing number of malicious actors without significant technical expertise and without significant financial investment.”

Arguably one of the most damaging types of cyberattack, ransomware, is growing particularly fast at 15% last year. Typically targeting vital institutions and infrastructure, cybercriminals use advanced forms of ransomware to encrypt a victim’s data and demand a financial payment before it can be unencrypted.

These viruses can often spread throughout an organisation rapidly. The high-profile Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in the US earlier this year caused disruption as fuel shortages began to appear and panic buying ensued.

No one-size-fits-all approach exists that can eliminate cybercrime but by quickly downloading the latest software updates companies can help ensure there are no software vulnerabilities. Creating a cyber security incident response team can also be an important step for larger organisations and those operating in sensitive industries.

Written by Tue 28 Sep 2021


Australia Covid-19 cyberattack cybercrime cybercriminals ransomware
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