Posted on April 13, 2020 at 10:39 AM
According to a recent report, staff mailboxes at Italian bank Monte Dei Paschi were infiltrated by hackers. The bank reported the attack through in a notice through emails to its clients. However, it did not mention whether there were data breaches as a result of the attack.
Also, in the notice, Monte Dei Paschi did not state whether the breach had affected any customers or what type of data the bank has lost. At the time of writing, the bank had not commented further about the incident.
Cyber-attacks have increased in recent times
Cybersecurity experts and officials have warned businesses, organizations, and individuals about the increased activities of hackers this period. They have advised organizations to be more security conscious as the hackers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to launch attacks on organizations.
As governments impose lockdowns to curtail the spread of the virus, attackers are capitalizing on any loophole arising from the lockdown to attack organizations. Monte Dei Paschi has now joined the long list of banks and organizations that have been victims of cyberattacks during this period.
As many regions are still on lockdown, several banks have warned their customers about criminals posing as bank representatives to deceive them. Some of the hackers are posing as health service providers and government agencies to persuade their victims to release their passwords or other important information.
There’s an upsurge of cybercrime in Italy
The Italian police recently revealed that cybercrime in Italy has increased exponentially in recent weeks. As a result, the agency cautioned individuals to be wary of any mail they receive that’s related to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the police, “majority of these emails are sent by cybercriminals looking to gain access to their passwords and vital information”.
The police also revealed that crimes related to home banking, credit cards, and e-commerce have increased tremendously. As a precaution, people should be careful about emails they receive related to these areas. If the individual has any need to contact their banks, they should do so via the official channel of the bank and not through emails sent to their box, the Italian police advice.
Usually, the cyber attackers utilize phishing mails to send the information to their victims. They claim to come from popular and legitimate institutions like Microsoft or Zoom while hoping that the mail recipients would click on the fraudulent links.
Amazon flushing scam sites out
In another development, some scammers are using Amazon to illegitimately sell items on the platform, deceiving people as being a cure to the coronavirus. Other cybercriminals are using other means to scam their victims by pretending to be approved health officials from reputable health organizations.
Presently, Amazon is now serious about taking down these sites and completely blocking them from its services. The company has already been accused of potentially gaining from price gouged sales. However, a spokesperson of the e-commerce giant stated that Amazon is doing everything possible to take down those illegitimate contents.
Furthermore, the Better Business Bureau has warned consumers to be very careful when buying face masks because there are so many counterfeits out there. These counterfeits are cheaply made and do not provide the health benefits of shielding them and others from infection.
Unicredit also a victim of a cyberattack last year
Unicredit, another Italian bank, was attacked last year with the data of millions of clients hacked. The bank said the breached data, containing approximately 3 million records, was generated in 2015.
The bank also revealed that the hackers got hold of emails, telephone numbers, city, and names of the clients. However, they do not have any bank details that would have granted them access to customer accounts and allowed unauthorized transactions.
This incident, along with the recent hacking incident on Monte Dei Paschi, are two of several other hacking incidents Italian banks have faced in recent times. The most successful attack was the 2017 hacking incident on the database of 400,000 Unicredit customers. Some customers of the bank are still suffering the aftermath of that attack until today.