LYON : Global police body Interpol warned Monday of an ''alarming'' rate of cybercrime during the coronavirus pandemic, with criminals taking advantage of people working from home to target major institutions.

An assessment by the Lyon based organisation found a ''significant target shift'' by criminals from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, government and critical infrastructure.

''Cybercriminals are developing and boosting their attacks at an alarming pace, exploiting the fear and uncertainty caused by the unstable social and economic environment created by Covid-19,'' said Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock.

''The increased online dependency for people around the world is also creating a new opportunities, with many businesses and individuals not ensuring their cyberdefences are up to date,'' he added.

The report said cybercriminals were sending Covid-19 themed phishing emails - which seek to obtain confidential data from users - often impersonating as government and health authorities.

Cybercriminals are increasingly using disruptive malware against critical infrastructure and healthcare institutions, it added.

At the first two weeks of April 2020, there was a rise in ransomware attacks, in which users have to pay money to get their computer to work again. [AFP]


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