Cybersecurity attacks spike during pandemic

Cybersecurity attacks spike during pandemic

WASHINGTON — Cyber-attacks have skyrocketed during the pandemic, according to testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

The House Committee on Financial Services said cybersecurity complaints to the FBI have jumped from 1,000 a day before the pandemic to up to 4,000 a day during the crisis.

"We are seeing a 75 percent spike in daily crimes reported by the FBI since the start of the pandemic,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) said.

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The financial sector is the number one target.

Experts said the criminals are targeting government pandemic relief funding, banks and individuals.

"Cyber defenders have seen a high level of coordination from cyber criminals who are demonstrating significant innovation to maintain persistence and even counter incident response efforts,” said Tom Kellermann, head of Cybersecurity Strategy for VMware.

There are efforts underway to fight back.

The Northern American Securities Administrators Association formed a COIVD-19 task force.

"This task force is using online investigative techniques to identify website and social media posts that are offering or promoting investment fraud or unregistered regulated activity,” said Amanda Senn from NASAA.

"Bad actors are committing malicious acts before COVID-19 and they will certainly do so after this crisis subsides,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director for National Cyber Security Alliance.

There are several bills pending in the House meant to address cybersecurity attacks during the pandemic.

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