What are the Highest Cyber Threats in the Year 2021?

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The Avast software and the Avast customer service team took a look back at the leading threats that took place in the year 2021.

All around the year in 2021, the criminals behind the cybercrimes took undue advantage of the pandemic, where everything was digitized for more than a year and is still continuing. They took a close look and exploited the habits and interests of people that were newly formed during the lockdown phase and that is how they spread various types of scams. The most common of the threats as dictated by the Avast customer service team were Ransomware, malware, scams with crypto that continued to occur, while two threats namely, the adware and fleece are the top threats on the mobile side.

The Avast software Threat Intelligence  Director, Mr. Michal Salat quoted “The pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of every one’s lives, and that includes the cyberworld too.” He also added that “Attackers’ methods are becoming more sophisticated. Cybercriminals are using techniques that make them harder to spot and carrying out more personalized cyberattacks. They are also adding new spins on tried and tested techniques, especially in social engineering type of attacks like scams.”

This itself is alarming and the Avast customer service team has been working dedicatedly in the back hand to prevent such crimes in the cyber world.

The ransomware attacks have made both the businesses and the potential consumers their targets. They did not spare anyone. 

Big businesses namely Kaseya Acer, Colonial Pipeline have been being affected and continue to be the victim of Ransomware attacks in the year 2021. There has been a 38% increment in the ransomware attacks as stated by Avast Software, in the globally targeted customers. This is the last five months’ report from June to October in 2021 and compared with January to May, the first five months of the year.

All the businesses too experienced a growth in the number of attacks globally from June to October. When compared to the first five months of the year that is, January to May, the chances of being targeted by ransomware evolved 32%, that is from 0.073% to 0.1%.

Scams from tech support, Sextortion, and parcel delivery has been quite common 

Cybercriminals continued using the Covid pandemic for their advantage, persistently spreading scams and regular phishing attacks for exploiting the new found habits of people, like the online communication, video calls, over sharing on social media, online shopping and so many more.

As reported by the Avast researchers and the Avast customer service team, there has been a flood in the scams of sextortion, and there has been more than a blocked sextortion scam of around 500,000. This has been a result of excessive use of the video conferencing option that was taken advantage of during the Covid-19 pandemic. What the hackers did was falsely claim to have found a user’s system and camera access and bullying with that. In many countries, users continued to receive message links to a banking Trojan in the name of FluBot. This was used in parcel delivery companies like eKart to a leading theft in the credentials and various personal information. They also have been targeted by the tech support scams. These attacks make one believe that their computer system has issues in it and has been infected by malware, virus, or ransomware, which lead them to call to only one phone number for technical customer support, which in reality was nothing but just an irrelevant scamming process. 

Phishing attacks were generally high, and they also continued to grow in the year 2021. The businesses that had a chance of going through a phishing scam, got increased by 40% from the last five months of June to October. Not only that, but the chances of consumers facing with this phishing threat also increased by a 20% in the last five months from June to October

Scams that focused on Cryptocurrency and malware

This year 2021, the Avast software Threat Labs verified a huge range of new threats that looked forward to benefiting from the cryptocurrencies at the expense of the user. Crackonosh and BluStealer were the two main ones that had an impact on many countries across the globe. The Crackonosh took place in various versions of major games and also in the malware mining of cryptocurrency. Where as, the BluStealer, which is a keylogger, and an uploader for documents, did a cryptocurrency theft in an individual malware, like the FluBot, that found people ordering items online during Covid and took the advantage of it.

Other Crackonosh and BlueStealer, HackBoss was another channel in Telegram that the Avast researchers and the Avast customer service team found in the cryptocurrency stealing malware. 

Summing up the year 2021

Mobile threats hows a wide spread and huge diversify as everyone was restricted with lockdown and put their entire life based on the internet. Michal Salat put up a concluding quote saying, “Cybercriminals kept up many of their tricks this year, using social engineering to spread malware to get their hands on people’s money, abusing technology such as stalker were to violate people’s privacy or deceiving vulnerable audiences into paying for fleeceware apps or unneeded tech support,”

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