The COVID-19-induced island wide curfew saw a dramatic rise in cyber crime incidents in Sri Lanka with an alarming number of over 3,900 complaints, according to Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT).
Compared to 2019 which recorded close to 3570 cases, CERT has received over 3900 cyber security related complaints during last nine weeks and it is a very serious situation, CERT Information Security Engineer, Ravindu Meegasmulla told the Daily Mirror.
As COVID-19 cases in the country continue to climb, CERT keeps receiving complaints related to phishing, privacy violations, scams, ransomware, social media related incidents and hacking. “The dramatic spike indicates that cyber criminals have taken advantage of the ongoing crisis in the country. We have provided technical support to all the complaints received so far. We expect a huge rise in cyber crime incidents by the end of this year due to COVID-19. It is the duty of the public to be extra vigilant at this time,” Meegasmulla said.
As per COVID-19 security instructions, CERT has temporarily halted accepting complaints via telephone and visits. The two email addresses available for the public to lodge complaints are firstname.lastname@example.org for cyber security incidents and email@example.com for social media incidents.
In March this year, CERT had issued a public warning regarding a high-level threat as hackers could attack remote user credentials and emails when organisations allow employees to work from home.
Later in May, they issued another warning to the public over receiving of One Time Password (OTP) from a local private number, instead of any authenticated service provider. (Piyumi Fonseka)