Cyberattacks have been a major concern for companies and governments, especially in the last decade. Companies and governments store large amounts of valuable information on their systems’ hardware, and without proper security, sensitive information may be vulnerable to cyberattacks. These attacks are sometimes used by malicious agents to obtain trade secrets and, therefore, gain an economic advantage over other countries or individuals. It can even be used to gain defense secrets.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CYBER ATTACKS
The first cyberattack could be said to have started with good intentions but ended unexpectedly. In 1988, a graduate student at Cornell University, Robert Tappan Morris, developed a program to assess the capacity of the internet. In total, approximately 6,000 computers, which was 10% of the entire internet at the time, were affected. The estimated cost of repair adjusted for inflation ranged from $201,000 and $2.9 million. He was charged as violating the violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. His sentence included fines and a three-year probation period with community service.
By 2007 cyberattacks had progressed to attacks on Estonian government and banking websites. In August 2008, there were cyberattacks on Georgian government websites. The US military computer network was attacked by a virus believed to have come from Russia in November 2008. In June 2009, the “Stuxnet” virus sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program.
A new report from Imperva has revealed that the present global pandemic of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has not affected cybercriminal activity. In fact, some countries have experienced an all-time high of cyberattacks in recent months. Imperva believes that the firm’s February 2020 Cyber Threat Index, which showed an increase in the average number of attacks per site in legal sectors and US government by 10 percent, is linked with the ongoing Democratic primary elections.
A country that received the hardest hit is India, experiencing the highest number of spam attacks while New Zealand experienced a spike in cyberattacks reaching 800 percent on February 17th and 18th.
Web attacks stemming from cloud platforms have been claimed by Imperva to have fallen by 27 percent, which seems to have continued last month’s trend. Nadav Avital, Head of Security Research at Imperva, has said that this new research from Cyber Threat Index is an affirmation to the rapidly changing security landscape. He also says that we can expect to see more of such trends, especially attacks on the government and law sectors, as we move closer to the 2020 US Presidential Election. Avital has stated that government websites will become an even greater target to malicious actors and advised that organizations prepare for such occurrences before it is too late.