Going Viral

June 1, 2020  • Institute Staff

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, cybercrime has more than tripled. During a digital event hosted in April by the Institute’s Aspen Digital, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for the Cyber Division Tonya Ugoretz said that the bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center now receives 3,000 to 4,000 cybercrime reports per day, up from 1,000 before the crisis. “There was this brief shining moment when we hoped that targeting or taking advantage of this pandemic for personal profit might be beyond the pale,” said Ugoretz. “Sadly, that has not been the case.” As Ugoretz explained, individuals and nations are leveraging the shift to online work and the resulting gaps in security to hack corporate computer systems, while other cybercriminals prey on the public’s fears, fraudulently promising medical supplies and stimulus checks. The good news is that many skilled and dedicated groups are taking down these threats at scale. One such effort is the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, which has assembled approximately 1,400 cybersecurity experts across 76 countries in just three weeks. During the webinar, one of the league’s co-founders, Marc Rogers, offered a few statistics: the league has taken down 2,833 malicious websites, collected and analyzed over 2,500 phishing messages, and detected over 2,000 cybersecurity vulnerabilities in high-risk organizations.