STM Announces New Cyber Threat Status Report

Coronavirus triggers cyber-attacks

Issue 99 - June 2020

STM (Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.Ş.) released the January-March 2020 Cyber Threat Status Report prepared by STM’s Technological Think-Tank Center “ThinkTech”, one of Turkey's leading institutions in the field of cyber security and big data. The report pointed out that the fear and sensitivity that societies are experiencing due to the Coronavirus outbreak is being used maliciously by attackers. The report also includes eye-opening analysis regarding cyber threats in digital banking applications, phishing activities targeting citizens, and new types of attack techniques that impact safe driving.

In the new STM ThinkTech Cyber Threat Status Report 'COVID-19 pandemic and cyber-attacks' are analyzed under a separate heading. According to the report, the COVID-19 outbreak has paved the way for many cyber-attacks that exploit the general public who seek out information in this time of unprecedented uncertainty worldwide.

Today, aside from the Coronavirus maps published by the World Health Organization and many other institutions regarding the number of cases and the course of the outbreak, some counterfeit apps are detected that deceive users under the name of real-time Coronavirus maps loaded with malicious software. With the cyber-attacks that occur by installing these fake apps, personal data of many users are accessed. Similar cyber-attacks are also observed on mobile platforms, aimed at accessing photos, videos, cameras and microphones.

Beware of Social Media Scams! 

The report also tackles the attackers that target Turkish citizens under the guise of referring to themselves as the 'Presidency's Communication Center-CIMER Announcement Group' as well as their activities. It is emphasized that the cyber attackers organized on social media plan to capture credit cardholder information by “skimming" attacks through offers of online purchases.

Targeting Online Banking!

The convenience of online banking and mobile bank apps is preferred by many people today. This enormous market also whets the appetite of cyber attackers. STM ThinkTech's report touches upon the vulnerabilities that place end users’ personal information and financial assets at risk, revealing that current developers of Android-based mobile banking and other mobile apps remain insufficient against vulnerabilities on their own. The report emphasizes that end users should not have applications that lack user authentication on their devices, and that banking apps should be kept up to date.

Cyber Attackers Threaten Safe Driving

Phantom cyber-attacks on electronic systems designed to support safer driving are on the rise and this directly affects human life. STM's latest report underlines that the activation of communication between the electronic systems of semi-autonomous or autonomous vehicles and road-side units leads to vulnerabilities. Amongst the most striking cyber threats are fake lane attacks that negatively affect safe driving, the wrong speed limit reflected to an area that the vehicle can spot by using a drone equipped with projection capability, or attacks that can be made by a misleading speed limit via a captured internet-connected digital billboard.