Threat Intelligence

    New Threat Intelligence Report: 100 Days of Coronavirus

    by Renatta Siewert

    The global spread of COVID-19 has created many new opportunities for threat actors since the novel coronavirus began gathering widespread attention at the end of 2019.

    To provide a clear picture of how malicious actors are exploiting those opportunities, the Mimecast Threat Intelligence team analyzed key trends in activity over the first 100 days.

    Increases in coronavirus-related spam and impersonation attack campaigns are exploiting the vulnerability of users working at home, taking advantage of their desire for information about the coronavirus pandemic to entice them to click on unsafe links.

    The monthly volume of all the detection categories reviewed increased significantly – by 33% –between January and the end of March 2020.

    • Spam/opportunistic detections (increased by 26.3%)
    • Impersonation detections (increased by 30.3%)
    • Malware detections (increased by 35.16%)
    • Blocking of URL clicks (increased by 55.8%)

    This report reviews Mimecast’s detection data at various layers during the first 100-day period of coronavirus (COVID-19), commencing from the beginning of January 2020. This report will break down the period into an easily digestible weekly review of detections. This activity is then reviewed, and assessments made in relation to what the data tells us in relation to threat activity during this initial period of the virus’ rapid spread, and the escalating response of international bodies and national governments. At the same time recommendations are made for the efficient maintenance of cyber-security during this exceptional, and deeply concerning, time.


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