Credit: Dreamstime: Weerapat Kiatdumrong

Reports show traditional malware attacks like virus attacks are declining, but that doesn’t mean the internet is becoming safer. In fact, new malware threats such as crypto-ransomware and phishing scams are rising exponentially.

The latter are largely misunderstood in that they don’t just comprise email attacks but can take many forms, including SMS messages. These complex scams are designed to trick users into revealing banking details, account passwords, or other personal information, from which the attackers steal money or in the most severe cases, the user’s identity.

The pandemic: a perfect environment for cyber- criminals

According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21, there were over 67,500 cyber-crime reports in Australia in the 12 months to 2021, an increase of 13 percent from the previous financial year. 1,500 of these reports related to the Corona virus pandemic, as cyber-criminals honed in on the topic to exploit vulnerable individuals.

The tactic worked. According to the report, more than 75 percent of pandemic-related cyber-crime reports involved Australians losing money or personal information. The statistics show a big impact on the hip pockets of Australians, with self-reported losses from…

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