It was a long week here in the Northeast, as Winter Storm Stella brought several feet of snow and howling winds.
The storm brought something else, too, that cannot be seen by the naked eye: A massive spike in malware infections.
According to a recent study, infections increased by as much as 90 percent on Tuesday in areas that were hit particularly hard by the storm. New York City saw an increase of 83.4 percent in malware infections, while Boston saw a jump of 37.65 percent. In Philadelphia, infections increased by 14.95 percent.
Here in Connecticut, infections increased by an overwhelming 91.47 percent.
"Any time we see a large number of people change their online habits, we see a change in infections," stated ESG spokesperson Ryan Gerding. "On Tuesday you had millions of people who stayed home from school and work. When they were snowed in, they went online, and when they went online, they got infections."
The particularly troubling part about this finding is that it shows how hackers are getting smarter in how they are targeting end users online. In this case, cybercriminals recognized a tremendous opportunity to cause damage and acted accordingly, wreaking havoc on personal and business networks.
What’s more, many end users undoubtedly clicked on links and got infected without realizing it. So these figures could potentially increase in the near future.
It’s going to snow more this weekend, so everyone in the region should use extra caution when browsing the Web for personal or business use.
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