“As millions of consumers look for updates and information regarding the spread and containment of the pandemic, scammers obliged, spreading misinformation, fake cures and offers for protective gear,” the company said in the report.
Bitdefender also said worldwide ransomware reports have surged by 715.08 percent year on year.
The cybersecurity firm said a rise in malware, phishing and scams throughout every platform and attack vector appears to have been directly brought about by online criminals harnessing pandemic-related issues to take advantage of misinformation and worry.
“Attempts to infect users with ransomware in 2020 have not slowed down. In fact, it’s anything but, supporting the notion that all schools of malicious actors have ramped up their efforts to capitalize on vulnerable remote workers and worried members of the public seeking information related to the pandemic,” the company said in its report.
Bitdefender said that Dridex, TrickBot, Agent Testla and Emotet have emerged as the “go-to threats” that bad actors used amid COVID-19 due to their historical reputation for solid performance and the fact that developers have continually created new functionalities.
Also, malware developers moved to find nefarious uses for programs like Zoom, which is popular among workers who are now telecommuting.
The news comes as the coronavirus has pushed people to do all things digitally, thus making new vectors of attack available. These new avenues of fraud have taken advantage of worries over stimulus checks and public health concerns amid the current health crisis to attract victims.
As many as 22 percent of Americans have faced the effects of fraud related to the coronavirus, according to some estimates as reported in September.
People were advised to be aware of digital fraudsters, as more companies throughout the globe pushed for workers to stay in their residences to fend off the spread of the coronavirus per news in March.
Firms globally were advising or mandating that staffers work remotely. Hackers who are fueled by the fear engendered by the pandemic, however, used the upset to take passwords, account numbers and other identifying data.
In July, news surfaced that a national poll determined that over eight in 10 medical practices had fallen victim to cyberattacks.
Over 50 percent of hospital and medical facilities noted patient safety worries from the information breaches, and two in 10 indicated that their business had been interrupted for over five hours.