Spain: during the quarantine period ended in early May, the number of cybercrime increased. This is evidenced by data from police and security experts. National media have also written about the case.
Spain under fire from hackers?
Enrique Figueredo from the newspaper “La Vanguardia” notes that the number of crimes committed in the traditional way (in terms of assaults or extortion) has recently dropped in Spain. However, a spike in other types of threats has been reported.
“Between mid-March and early May, the number of seizures inside buildings, in public transport and shoplifting has dropped dramatically”
– he wrote in the newspaper.
Now, in his opinion, the number of crimes related to money laundering, extorting state aid, and even … spreading hatred on the internet against all minorities.
Which, however, should interest us the most, Figueredo noticed that during the pandemic period the number of frauds carried out via the Internet and cellular networks was increasing rapidly.
This is evidenced by data from the Spanish Office for Internet Security (OSI), which is subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. The institution reported in its reports that during a coronavirus pandemic, criminals were more likely to extort banking information or sensitive data, and used social media and popular messaging to do so.
How do cyber criminals work?
What exactly did these types of practices look like? OSI experts say that one of the most common scams during the Spanish lockdown period was sending mobile phone users a request to send a fake text message thanking Spanish health service.
Reportedly, there were cases of people who received e-mails and text messages from fraudsters pretending to be employees of healthcare facilities. The messages asked for personal data of patients. There were also more people claiming to be people from state institutions, such as the municipal office or social security office, who also contacted Spanish citizens to deceive them and obtain sensitive data illegally.
This trend can be continued. Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo recently admitted that the government is considering prolonged emergency due to the continued high risk of an epidemic escalating.