COVID-19 measures are driving everything in the cyber world. As predicted, the sudden rise in the use of homeworking and video conferencing has created major problems. Supply chain attacks have increased: General Electric has warned that all of its sensitive personal data on present and former employees has been breached by an attack on a supplier. There has been a sharp increase in phishing attacks on home workers and private users. Hospital medical records have come under increasing cyber attacks. Although ISPs and bearers are managing with the increased cyber load, some websites have crashed due to overload, particularly those addressing medical or social security issues. Windows development has been halted, and Microsoft is only working on essential security updates. Google has binned Chrome 82 development, and 5G iPhone 12 has been delayed by months. Despite upsurge in demand for cyber hardware, PC and smartphone sales are suffering due to shortage of workers to manufacture, particularly in China. UK Government report suggests that half of UK business suffer from a basic cyber-security skills gap, and this is likely to be repeated across the West. In a precautionary test, York University created a false Google app which fooled 40% of password managers into presenting passwords. A Trinity College Dublin report brands Edge as ‘worrisome’ for user privacy. iOS 13.4 software issue is reported to block VPNs from encrypting all traffic on some apps. Zoom users’ analytic data has been passed to Facebook without explicit consent, but following client backlash, ceased doing this at the end of March.
Written by David Palmer OBE