Malta joins cyber security alliance led by Interpol

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Cyber Security Malta and the Malta Police Force have joined a global alliance led by Interpol which is aimed at creating awareness about cyber safety with a campaign called #WashYourCyberHands.

Global law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity communities have come together to protect the public.

Cyber Security Malta explained that the awareness campaign will help communities to keep safe from cybercriminals who are exploiting coronavirus pandemic to steal data, commit online fraud or simply disrupt the virtual world, in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

The campaign will be highlighting the top threats based on the data collected from various countries, private industry partners, national cybersecurity agencies and online information-sharing groups. Analysis of this data has confirmed that cybercriminals are capitalizing on the anxiety caused by coronavirus pandemic through various cyberattacks such as data-harvesting, malware, ransomware, online scams and phishing. 

Cyber Security Malta said that the data will be adapted for the local scenario and made relevant for Malta and Gozo.

Basic cyber hygiene advice – how to ‘wash your cyber hands’ – will be provided on a daily basis campaign to ensure that individuals and businesses are equipped with the knowledge of how to protect their systems and data.

Interpol Director of Cybercrime, Craig Jones, said police and the cybersecurity industry have seen a considerable increase in the number of targeted cyberattacks by criminals since the virus outbreak began. These range from malicious web domains using the word ‘covid’ to phishing emails promising the sale of key supplies as well as ransomware attacks against critical infrastructure and hospitals.

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services Clayton Bartolo said that the government was investing “a lot” to keep everyone safe from a digital point of view.

MITA Executive Chairman Tony Sultana remarked that a pro-active approach was being taken by the authorities on different levels.

Police Inspector Timothy Zammit from the Malta Police Cyber Crime Unit explained that the aim behind these campaigns goes beyond disseminating information to prevent crimes in the short term.  “As society adapts itself to new realities, we want to see users become more aware of the risks involved so that they can interact safely online with more confidence.”

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