Albania was one of the biggest sources of cyber attacks in the last 31 days, according to data from Atlas VPN.
It ranks as number five on the list, accounting for 11.79% of all cyberattacks in the region. The data is based on the number of incidents registered in European countries, in particular malware that targets devices through the use of USBs, CDs, DVDs and other methods.
The number one spot went to Belarus with 19.02% of all attacks, translating to 2.1 million or almost 69,000 per day. They take the top spot amid a time of social and political turmoil that has seen mass anti-government protests and a crackdown from authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
Moldova came in at number two with 17% of attacks, then Russia, Ukraine, and Albania.
The data showed that attacks were more prevalent during the week than at the weekends. In fact, there was a 26% drop in the number of attacks on Saturdays, suggesting that cybercriminals like to take the weekend off.
The greatest threat across the top five countries were Trojan Horses and Ransomware which can make changes to the device’s system, leaving an open door for hackers to steal private data. Ransomware can also demand payments in return for unlocking a computer or device.
Citizens’ devices can become infected in a number of ways including spam emails, fake java installers, Flash Player updates, software cracking tools, or infected external devices.
In April of this year, in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, Exit News fell victim to a “highly sophisticated” cyber attack. Hackers took down the site for several hours and anyone trying to access it was redirected to spam sites with “unsafe content”. Meanwhile, they attempted to delete the entire database, including five years worth of articles.
The IT team were able to regain control of the site and prevent damage from being done. They said it was unlike any attack they had seen before and was highly sophisticated.
The International Press Institute said it was a “direct attack against the outlet and its reporting,” noting that Exit’s independence and critical nature made it a target.