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UAE’s top cyber security chief warns Middle East region is facing a “cyber pandemic” as hackers take advantage of Covid-related digital adoption.

They have seen a 250% increase in cyberattacks this year, with phishing and ransomware incidents increasing in frequency. as the pandemic forced organizations around the world to reconsider how and where they work and hackers and malicious actors are taking advantage of increased digital adoption.

The financial sector was one of the most attacked areas, as well as the health sector.

Mostly, this is coming from “activists” after they established formal ties with Israel, according to Mohamed al-Kuwaiti, head of UAE Government Cyber Security.

Al Kuwaiti said a variety of sources were responsible for the attacks. “We see it coming from the whole region, but one is Iran,” he said. Now Iran has also said that it has been a victim of hacking.

What’s a phishing attack?

A phishing attack occurs when a cybercriminal masquerades as a legitimate person or business to extract sensitive information from a victim voluntarily. Ransomware occurs when a hacker blocks access to a victim’s files, then demands payment to restore access.

A New research by cyber security firm, TrendMicro, says critical public infrastructure and government IT systems were becoming a primary focus for hackers globally, with ransomware being their preferred weapon of choice.

Current malicious actors have opted to demand heftier ransoms from targets that are more likely to pay, such as healthcare companies and local governments in response, UAE had established a new National Cyber Security Council to develop policies and laws to strengthen cyber security, and ensure the country is not vulnerable to the types of attacks that could easily affect its society, government or businesses