Virtual Attacks Lead to Real-World Problems: Weekly Cybersecurity Brief

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

When one thinks about the implications of a cyber-attack, they typically tend to leave out the repercussions it could have on real life scenarios. A data breach could lead to much more severe consequences than one might imagine. Articles by Akamai Technologies Inc., The Guardian and Louis Columbus from Forbes reveal that a virtual attack can cause real-life harm.

Akamai, an intelligent edge platform used for delivering digital experiences, recently released a report revealing an uptick in cyber-attacks in the gaming industry. More specifically, the video game industry was hit with nearly 10 billion cyber-attacks from 2018 to 2020 in the form of credential stuffing and phishing. When gamers were asked about their personal experiences with being hacked, 55 percent of respondents admitted to having had an account compromised at some point; of those, only 20 percent expressed being “worried” or “very worried” about it. This statistic shows a significant amount of people being hacked do not see the repercussions that could come from it.

Another realm in which cyber-attacks are skyrocketing is QR Codes. Due to the implications brought upon from the pandemic, many businesses are adopting QR code technology to streamline touchless services for employees and customers. Little do these organizations know, QR codes are one of the world’s fastest growing threat vectors which leaves millions vulnerable to attacks. A successful attack aimed at a QR code gives hackers instant access to the user’s mobile device. In today’s day and age where mobile devices have become an extension of our personal being, the consequences that could come from an attacker entering a mobile device are endless.

On a more serious note, a hospital in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany, is now under investigation for the death of a patient who was not admitted due to its systems being knocked out by a cyber-attack. If the investigation leads to prosecution, this incident would be named the first confirmed death as a direct consequence from a cyber-attack. If this situation shows the world one thing, it’s that attacks originating from a virtual source could lead to devastating losses, such as a human life. 

As humans, we have developed a huge reliance on technology. Because we have made this decision to heavily incorporate technology into our lives, it is now our responsibility to make sure we keep our systems safe. A simple change in perspective can go a long way. Realizing that a virtual attack can lead to real-life problems will make all the difference in protecting not only our systems, but our physical being.

Takeaways

“Akamai Report Reveals Broad, Persistent Attacks Targeting Video Game Players and Companies” – Akamai Technologies Inc.

  • Akamai, an intelligent edge platform used for delivering digital experiences, recently released a report revealing an uptick in cyber-attacks in the gaming industry
  • The video game industry was hit with nearly 10 billion cyber-attacks from 2018 to 2020, typically in the form of credential stuffing and phishing
  • Activity spiked when COVID-19 hit due to social isolation and increased playing
  • Akamai Report suggests gamers protect their systems by using password managers and two-factor authentication

“Prosecutors open homicide case after cyber-attack on German hospital” – The Guardian

  • A hospital in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany, is under investigation for the death of a patient who was not admitted due to its systems being knocked out by a cyber attack
  • If the investigation leads to prosecution, this would be named the first confirmed death as a direct consequence from a cyber attack
  • There was a flaw in the hospital’s IT operations back in December 2019, but the proper steps to fix it were not taken

“The Cybersecurity Threat No One Talks About Is A Simple Code” – Louis Columbus from Forbes

  • QR code adoption is soaring due to business’ increased efforts towards reaching touchless services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • QR codes are one of the world’s fastest growing threat vectors, leaving millions vulnerable to attacks
  • This surge in QR codes should urge cyber professionals to focus on improving the security of mobile devices while still prioritizing user experience

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2020/09/20/the-cybersecurity-threat-no-one-talks-about-is-a-simple-code/#2505bdd57e2a

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/sep/18/prosecutors-open-homicide-case-after-cyber-attack-on-german-hospital

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/akamai-report-reveals-broad-persistent-cyber-attacks-targeting-video-game-players-and-companies-301136183.html

Discover More: