Threats and Incidents

Cyberattacks are disruptive cyber incidents, data breaches or disinformation operations conducted using a computer network or system with malicious intent to cause damage or extract data without consent.

There are many different types of cyberattacks. Threats and incidents can include ransomware, spyware, malware, phishing, denial-of-Service attack, etc. There are many motives for cyberattacks including to cause technical, financial, reputational or other harm. In addition to cyberattacks, there are mis- and dis-information campaigns to spread information in a manner that makes it difficult to distinguish truth from fiction.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts and blocks access to victim’s data, files and computer systems. Cybercriminals use this technique to request the payment of a ransom in exchange of a decryption key.

The volume of ransomware attacks has continuously been growing to become one of the most prominent threat. The CyberPeace Institute monitors for, and investigates, ransomware cases targeting NGOs and other critical sector organizations. It raises alerts and supports organizations who have been victim of such cyberattacks, and provides insights and policy recommendations to try to put a stop to ransomware attacks.

Why is ransomware so hard to stop

Double extortion’ is the latest tactic of ransomware gangs, who steal data and threaten to release it if the ransom isn’t paid. We must engage all stakeholders to tackle this growing threat to cyberpeace.

What is Double extortion? Find this and other definitions in our Glossary of Cybersecurity terms.

Spyware

Spyware is software designed to spy on the activity of a computer or phone user. It gathers information about a person or organization for eavesdropping/ recording conversations (text/voice/video), accessing the victim’s emails, applications content, documents, etc. Often the user is unaware that spyware has infected their device (computer or phone).

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Infodemic

Since the COVID19 outbreak, the world has witnessed a drastic uptick in the spread of false information as cyber criminals exploit the chaotic nature of the virus as a means to deploy cyber attacks against vulnerable individuals and sectors of the global community. Consequently, this produces a situation where the spread of false information manipulates human nature to deceive individuals, leaving them susceptible to devastating attacks that risk producing physical and financial harm. Ultimately, it has the effect of undermining human security, dignity and equity in cyberspace. The situation is further exacerbated due to the lack of accountability that operates as a carte blanche for cyber criminals to continue with illicit operations against vulnerable persons.