Cyber threats took advantage of online platforms during pandemic

WITH the pandemic causing schools and learning institutions to close or adopt a hybrid approach, the educational sector tends to become another potential target for cyber criminals.

Data from Kaspersky showed that 270,171 users encountered various threats disguised as popular learning platforms from July to December 2020, which was an increase of 60% compared to 1H 2020.

In 2Q 2020, over one billion schoolchildren worldwide were affected by school closures due to the pandemic, causing learning institutions to switch to remote learning. This indirectly opened the doors for cyber risks to leak in.

From January to June of last year, a total of 168,550 users encountered various types of threats that are disguised as online learning platforms/video conferencing applications. The number was a staggering 20,455% higher compared to the same period in 2019.

From there, the number of cases continued to grow.

The most popular lure at the time was Zoom, which was not surprising, being one of the most popular platforms for virtual meetings with over 300 million participants on a daily basis.

Runner up was Moodle, followed by Google Meet and many others.

Out of all the threats that were discovered, 98% of them were not viruses and was mostly either riskware or adware.

“Unfortunately, until all students are back in the classroom full-time, educational institutions will continue to be a popular target for criminals, particularly since this sector has traditionally not prioritized its cybersecurity,” Kaspersky security expert Anton Ivanov opined.

“However, the pandemic has made it clear that this has to change, especially since technology is increasingly being incorporated in the classroom—virtual learning or not,” he added. – Feb 27, 2021

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