The increase in online shopping in the pandemic has benefited cyber hackers. While cyber attacks against the trade sector worldwide increased by 56%, phishers took advantage of the interest in Covid-19 vaccines, and 40% of offensive e-mails were designed specifically for vaccines. Now it’s the turn of those who make holiday plans. Berqnet General Manager Hakan Hintoğlu warned, “The increased interest in sweepstakes and gift campaigns has doubled the risk of being caught by fake content and phishing attacks.”
Despite the accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic process, it seems that users’ cyber security awareness is not yet at a sufficient level. The acceleration in e-commerce, in particular, continues to pave the way for cyber hackers. According to the global Cybersecurity Threatscape Q4 2020 report, analyzed by Berqnet, a domestic cybersecurity product manufacturer, in the last quarter of 2020, attacks on the trade sector around the world increased by 56% compared to the same period of the previous year. The first target in attacks against customers of e-commerce sites was payment information (33%), followed by personal data (27%) and identity information (20%). In this process, cyber pirates did not fail to turn people’s curiosity and interest in Covid-19 vaccines into opportunities. About 40% of all phishing emails related to the pandemic were related to the Covid-19 vaccine.
Pointing out that this situation is similar in our country, Berqnet General Manager Hakan Hintoğlu said, “Especially the gradual normalization that started after the full closure we left behind, has put holiday plans ahead of issues such as e-commerce and vaccination, with only a few days left until summer. In addition to online shopping, the increase in interest in competitions, sweepstakes and gift campaigns has increased the risk of being caught by fake content and phishing attacks such as gift holidays,” he warned.
“Last year, 130 thousand people believed in the promise of ‘Gift Maldives Holiday’”
Pointing out that holiday reservations are made online, just like shopping, Hintoğlu said that attention in the digital world has fallen as the need for vacation has come to the fore more than ever with the effect of restrictions: “Attention deficit is of course very normal in a process that affects human psychology like an epidemic. Unfortunately, 99% of cyber vulnerabilities are caused by human error. A link that is clicked without thinking or a form that is filled in can cause irreparable damages. Especially in today’s conditions, the fact that the holiday has become a basic necessity, with the effect of economic difficulties, increases the interest in content that promises discounts or advantages. Last year, as Berqnet, we created a fiction with the message ‘Free Maldivian Holiday’ in order to raise awareness of internet users against phishing attacks, and we saw that 130 thousand people clicked on the link prepared by us without any control. Unfortunately, this situation proves how low cyber security awareness is in our country. If it were malicious focus, not us who prepared this link and images, 130,000 people would have fallen into the net of cyber attackers. In the current conditions, we can say that more people are the target of phishing attacks.”
Protection is not as difficult as it seems
Emphasizing that as Berqnet, they have determined that 80% of users in Turkey are unconscious against phishing attacks in their research so far, Hakan Hintoğlu said, “In addition to phishing attacks, 70% of a large segment of users have secure URL addresses and 65% of users have strong passwords. There is a serious lack of knowledge about creating However, simple measures such as knowing about phishing attacks, which we encounter very high, checking whether the URL is safe at addresses where critical transactions such as banking are carried out, and creating strong passwords rich in characters, numbers and letters are very effective in preventing cyber dangers. The use of solutions such as firewalls and antiviruses that allow the necessary security measures to be taken is now a guarantee for every internet user. We will continue our awareness measurement research that we carry out on a regular basis. With our newly launched social responsibility project ‘Cyber Security for All’ (herkesicinsiberguvenlik.net), raising our people’s cyber literacy and awareness and building a secure digital future are among our goals.”