500-word Summary of Article About Cyber Attacks

To: Prof.Ellis

From: Muztahid Sakif

Date: Oct. 6, 2021

Subject: 500-word Summary of Article About Cyber Attacks

The following 500-word summary of the article “Covid-19 Pandemic: A New Era of Cyber Security Threat and Holistic Approach to Overcome” by Jabber Ahmed highlights the increased threat of cyber-attacks during the Covid 19 pandemic. With countries across the world going into lockdown, the usage of computers and internet has increased significantly, making cyber criminals more active. The attacks are more prevalent with the lack of personal safety precautions in using the internet. Cyber criminals have found multiple ways to access data causing many banking, government, and non-government organizations to suffer cyber-attacks. This article focuses on safety precautions to protect personal and organization data from cyber criminals.

2020 was the year of pandemic that led to a “New Normal” by forcing many to work and learn from home. Cyber attackers are capitalizing off the pandemic by launching their cyber-attacks across the continents, especially in developing countries. Ahmed supports this using a bar graph which shows the percentage of attacks faced by the different continents. Europe faced 42% of the attacks, America faced 12%, Asia Pacific with 19%, Africa with 17% and the Middle East facing 10% of the attacks. Due to the lack of awareness in developing countries, many sites have been visited by people without security precautions.

Ahmed mentions specific sectors that were attacked during the pandemic including, healthcare and medical sectors, financial sectors, and educational sectors. With the health care system already weakened by the pandemic, attacks saw this sector as the ideal place to attack. With the increase of the remote care system, the hackers were active in getting to the healthcare system around the world. Financial sectors have suffered the attacks with the increased use of online support. Most employees were working from home with an unsecured network which exposed them to attacks. Educational sectors were also affected with students from all levels being dependent on e-learning with the use of independent applications like Zoom which was vulnerable to malware attacks. 

Common types of cyber-attack include DDoS Attack, phishing, malware, and ransomware. DDoS attacks are used to make an online service unavailable for the user by increasing traffic. According to the author, “ In the first quarter of the year 2020, the total number of reported DDoS attacks was 242, and in the second quarter, the number was increased to 300 [12] [13]” [1, p. 14]. Phishing hackers send emails to individuals with fake web pages that can capture details of an individual. Attacks spread malware in devices of the users during the pandemic. Malware can create a “backdoor” in the user’s device, allowing criminals to take all personal credentials/ passwords. 

Ahmed highlights some ways of preventing these attacks. Ransomware can be prevented with an Updated OS that provides an updated patch file for prevention. To prevent DDos Attacks, users can keep the firewall on which can detect the source of IP address range to control the overflow. Phishing attacks can be prevented by having adequate knowledge of phishing emails, not clicking phishing links, and not providing credentials to unsecured websites.

Reference: [1] J. Ahmed and Q. Tushar, “Covid-19 Pandemic: A New Era Of Cyber Security Threat And Holistic Approach To Overcome,” 2020 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conference on Computer Science and Data Engineering (CSDE), 2020, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/CSDE50874.2020.9411533.

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