A massive rise in the quantity of breached records of governments & also of individual politicians in the first quarter of 2020 has now been detected, says new research from Atlas VPN.
This study has showed there were something like 17 million leaked government records during this period, which in turn represents a 278% increase when compared with the same period of 2019.
Included here are a number of very high-profile cases, which had left the sensitive data of citizens exposed to cyber-criminals. In March 2020, the Dutch government admitted losing 2 external hard drives, with each containing personal information of well over 6.9 million organ donors! It remains completely unknown as to who was the guilty party, although there is fortunately no real evidence of attempts to use the information.
Israel & Quebec
Additionally, the records of 6.5 million Israeli voters, it appears, were leaked online in Feb., & later in Feb., the Province of Quebec, Canada, owned-up to a data breach that has potentially compromised the records of around 360,000 teachers.
These detections will now serve as a serious wake-up call for many governments worldwide.
Rachel Welsh, COO of Atlas VPN, observed: “Hackers are always searching for networks that have not implemented the latest cyber security measures. During 2020, it happens to be the case that government websites and applications had many security vulnerabilities. It is very unfortunate to see that governments do not invest in protecting their networks the best they can since they are responsible for their citizen’s data.”
Also, it was additionally disclosed that malware, phishing & command & control were by far the most common types of cyber-attacks to take place during March. Malware, it seems, was the single most common method that hackers have used to capture devices, reaching some 80,000 attempts worldwide, & this represents around 53% of all cyber-attacks during March.
Atlas also noted that the ‘real number’ of government data breaches in this period could be “exponentially higher,” with many exposures which were not then disclosed until it appears months after. This becomes more likelier because of all the increased hacker activity related to COVID-19.