GCC records 3067 COVID-19 Coronavirus cyber-attacks in Q1 2020
Mita Srinivasan
10X Technology

GCC records 3067 COVID-19 Coronavirus cyber-attacks in Q1 2020

During Q1 2020, the GCC recorded 1,737 email spam attacks; 1,114 malware threats detected and 216 URL attacks

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have recorded 3,067 email, URL, and file threats related to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Q1 2020, according to new research from Trend Micro Incorporated, a global player in cybersecurity solutions.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread, the topic is being used in many malicious campaigns – including email spam, business email compromise (BEC), malware, ransomware, and malicious domains. Fraud activity is still on the rise as communities remain in quarantine. The UAE led all GCC countries with 1,541 COVID-19 attacks, including 775 malware threats detected, 621 email spam attacks, and 145 URL attacks. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recorded 344 COVID-19 attacks, including 268 email spam attacks, 59 malware threats detected, and 17 URL attacks. Figures are based on cyberthreats blocked by Trend Micro.

Worldwide, Trend Micro blocked more than 907,000 spam messages, recorded more than 48,000 hits on malicious URLs, and detected 737 malware threats all related to COVID-19 coronavirus. In threats related to COVID-19, URL attacks increased 260x and email spam attacks increased 220x from February 2020-March 2020. The United States leads in all COVID-19 attacks.

Industry experts recommend a multilayered protection approach to protect all fronts and prevent users from accessing malicious domains that could deliver malware.