Bulgaria: Hacker Attacks Become Increasingly Frequent during Pandemic

Society | April 23, 2021, Friday // 14:00|  views

A significant increase in cyber attacks and losses for millions have been reported during the pandemic. A survey by one of the largest technology companies noted a 49% increase in malware use in 2020. Against this backdrop cyber insurance for business is gaining popularity. Frequent attacks by Bulgarian hackers on large business have been detected recently.

A few months ago, an open email put to the test the reputation of a long-established law firm. At first glance, the letter did not arouse suspicion - the catch, however, was hidden in the attached file.

"A few hours later, all files on my computer were inaccessible. The hackers claimed that the information was stolen, they can spread it and all my clients will know what happened," the victim said.

In order to return the digital assets, the hackers demanded a ransom to be paid in cryptocurrency. The reason is that such a transaction is untraceable in case of an investigation. What saved the firm was the advice of IT specialists to zip up all files every month.

"I was asked to pay the amount of 15,000 euros. We've only lost the information for the last two weeks. We were able to recover the larger body of information," the victim explained further.

Studies show that about 70% of companies that have been hacked have to wind up their business because of a loss of reputation and trust among customers.

It turns out that a story like this is not a precedent. The trend for 2020 shows a growth in phishing fraud by over 700% compared to 2019.

Hackers use two basic approaches. The first - acquisition of digital data from a specific company. The second is mass phishing attacks - these are fake emails on behalf of a banking institution or an online trading platform.

Over the past year, the financial losses resulting from a cyber attack on companies amount to between USD 2-3 million. In Bulgaria the main perpetrators for targeted phishing attacks on big businesses are natives. As for the massive phishing attacks that occur through official or private correspondence via email, the blame is again on unscrupulous Bulgarians", explains Alexander Gospodinov, Head of Cyber Insurance Department.

Over the past year, more and more representatives of small and medium-sized businesses have been interested in so-called cyber insurance. Such service has been known on the market for 10 years, but only now the demand for it is increasing, the industry said. Among the risks it covers are recovering digital assets, cyber blackmailing, including cyberterrorism. Such insurance requires verification of the company’s information security.

Experts identify as most risk-prone sectors for cyber attacks utilities and financial services, passenger transport and online commerce.



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Tags: Bulgaria, pandemic, cyber crimes, hackers


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