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Rising cyberattacks amid COVID-19; how can we protect ourselves? Updated: 2021-02-18 10:06:55 KST

As people spend more time at home due to COVID-19, hacking is a rising concern.
Hackers attack computers by creating a malignant code, like ransomware, which can infect computers.
This ransomware then encodes important files, allowing hackers to demand money or steal personal information.

"So, what's causing the rise in hacking, and who are the hackers targeting?"

Hackers send text messages or emails to people.
These messages contain a link which downloads an application with a virus.
Some of these messages try to get you to click on them by talking about places where COVID-19 patients have been or offering you COVID-19 relief funds.
The number of these message phishing attacks has increased by 2.6 times in 2020, compared to the previous year.

"It can be anyone from students to employees. Especially last year, people had to work from home or take online classes due to COVID-19. So, there were more people using the internet and that exposed them to danger."

And it's not just petty criminals who are attempting cyberattacks.
North Korea tried to hack a drugmaker to steal its information about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatments.
South Korean lawmaker Ha Tae-keung on Tuesday disclosed data from the National Intelligence Service that showed North Korea attempts an average of more than one-and-a-half million cyberattacks globally every day, which is 32 percent increase on year.
Health experts say that the North's hackers might be more interested in selling the stolen data, but there's a possibility they want to develop their own vaccine based on the data.
The U.S. State Department says that the North's attempts to hack vaccine companies are a threat to international peace and security.
And as cyberattacks are a serious problem, we should learn how to prevent them.

"If you think that you have been hacked, you can visit the website 'Bohonara' and read the information about security, then respond accordingly. If you can't handle this by yourself, call '118' and we'll offer a free security consultation."

To prevent cyberattacks, keep your anti-virus software and other software up-to-date and always think twice before opening a suspicious email.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News.
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