A SNAPSHOT OF THE CURRENT THREAT LANDSCAPE
Security Advisor Middle East|November 2020
DEREK MANKY (DM), CHIEF, SECURITY INSIGHTS & GLOBAL THREAT ALLIANCES AND AAMIR LAKHANI (AL), GLOBAL SECURITY STRATEGIST AND LEAD RESEARCHER, FORTIGUARD LABS, PROVIDE SOME INSIGHT INTO THE MINDS OF CYBERCRIMINALS AND THEIR VARIOUS TACTICS AND TARGETS.

What changes in attack trends has FortiGuard Labs seen in the months since the beginning of the pandemic?

DM: April and May were the months where the most COVID lures came about, and of these, email-based threats were by far the most dominant in the threat space. These threats played off of layoff notices sent to employees, false purchasing orders, messages from HR departments, really anything that could exploit the huge shift in the work environment that employees were experiencing. Outside of the workplace, people were being targeted by health authority impersonators for example offering more information about the pandemic. In our trackers, the traditional COVID lures have dropped down quite a bit, going from almost 350 a day to double digits now. Now that things are shifting to a different normal, we’re seeing the old threats kick off once again, but with a change in general focus. For example, as some organisations begin hiring again, we’re seeing lures that are specifically targeting candidates, particularly with man-in-the-middle attacks. For example, bad actors are injecting themselves into the middle with classic threat attempts such as sending malicious PDFs as resumes.

The attack surface for threat actors is constantly growing, are there any targets that stand out to you as most vulnerable?

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