Home » Computer fraud on the rise on social media and in cryptocurrencies. How to protect yourself

Computer fraud on the rise on social media and in cryptocurrencies. How to protect yourself

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Computer fraud on the rise on social media and in cryptocurrencies.  How to protect yourself

Computers, cell phones, social media, instant messaging apps and, now, even cryptocurrencies and digital wallets. It is precisely the software programs that are used most frequently, both for work and leisure, that are attacked by computer hackers through phishing. It emerges from the latest report “Threatland” curated by Swascan, a cybersecurity company of the Tinexta Group. There are five programs most affected in the world: Office365 (17,8%), Facebook (11,5%), WhatsApp (3,9%), Outlook (2,4%) e “Crypto/Wallet” (2,1%).

Phishing is the most common type of cyber attack
The most widespread cybercrime activity globally is the phishing which uses sophisticated techniques to send deceptive emails, text messages or communications that appear to come from reliable or legitimate sources to obtain confidential information: in the second half of 2023, 448,665 portals dedicated to phishing were registered worldwide.

But not only. Italy, in fact, it also became among the five most affected in the world for so-called “ransomware” operations, which sees hackers penetrate corporate networks through malicious software, take sensitive data hostage and demand a ransom to free it. In the second half of last year there were 88 such attacks, up 44%, a number surpassed only by those in the United States (1,200), the United Kingdom (171), Canada (126) and Germany (105). In three out of four cases those affected are small and medium-sized businesses with a turnover of less than 250 million dollars.

The sectors most affected
Among the sectors most affected in Italy are services (21% of attacks) and manufacturing (20%), followed by healthcare (11%) and the technological sector (9%). The growing digitalisation of the latter two sectors demonstrates the pervasiveness of the ransomware threat which to a lesser extent also involves other sectors such as public services, logistics, luxury and food. 58% of the companies attacked have between 1 and 50 employees, and are found almost exclusively in Northern (56%) and Central Italy (37%).

AI helps make these attacks increasingly “subtle and aggressive”
The advent of artificial intelligence contributes to making these attacks increasingly “sneaky and aggressive”; says Pierguido Iezzi, CEO of Swascan: «Cybersecurity has become an unavoidable priority and companies must invest to strengthen the security measures of their IT systems. A commitment aimed at guaranteeing resistance and resilience not only of the productive fabric of our country, but also of the Italian country system. To achieve this objective, organizations, in particular SMEs, must be supported through collaboration paths between public and private, but also through incentives, benefits and tax exemptions for investments”. The cybercriminal group that has carried out the most actions globally in recent months, with 526 attacks of which 18 in Italy, is Lockbit, recently blocked by the US and British authorities together with Europol.

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