Most of the world now is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and hackers are taking complete advantage of this lockdown. They are making an attempt to grasp the emergency and thus they are sending out various Coronavirus cybersecurity attacks like phishing attacks that will tempt most of the internet users to simply click on links and files that are malicious. It will let the cybercriminals steal some sensitive data and even establish a control on the user’s device as well as use it for directing more attacks. No one will wish to get attacked by these hackers and become their victims. There is a high chance that you can also lose your device. But if you follow some simple guidelines it will help you in protecting yourself.
How are the Coronavirus Cybersecurity Attacks spreading?
Hackers are actually exploiting the outbreak of COVID-19 for spreading malware campaigns such as registering domains related to Coronavirus that are malicious and also promoting as well as selling their goods by giving special offers. The cybersecurity firm has said that hackers have been selling malicious tools and malware under some special deals by using discount codes as Coronavirus or COVID-19. Most of the people are going online and searching for information regarding COVID-19. But according to the WHO this pandemic has given rise to an infodemic that leads people towards accurate as well as inaccurate data circulating online, thus making it difficult for them to understand what to rely on. Cyber-attackers are capitalizing on the situation and they are sending emails claiming to offer various health advice from renowned organizations like the governments as well as the WHO. But all these are real phishing attacks. It is really difficult to understand what the exact number of attacks are or how many individuals have been affected. But many new attacks are getting reported almost daily. Some of the cybersecurity companies also report a huge increase in inquiries as a lot of employers has started work from home for their employees.
A list of Coronavirus Cybersecurity Attacks
Recently Coronavirus cybersecurity attacks against testing centers as well as hospitals along with phishing campaigns distributing malicious links, attachments, etc. and also executing ransomware or malware attacks that actually aim at profiting from the worldwide health concern are seen. One of the very first cybersecurity attacks was seen in Mongolia, aiming at employees of the public sector. It used an email along with word document regarding the rampancy of the new COVID-19 infections and pretended to be conveyed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country. The email along with the document looked genuine and provided appropriate information. But once the file was opened it installed malicious code on the attacked person’s device that kept on running each time they opened their word processing app such as Microsoft Word. This malicious code has another device named the command and control center to access as well as control the attacked person’s device remotely by uploading a lot of instructions along with malicious software. Cybercriminals could then easily spy on the affected device and use it for stealing information and also direct more attacks in the future.
- Hackers from North Korea launched some malware campaign where they made use of booby-trapped documents that have detailed information about the response of South Korea to this pandemic as an enticing of dropping BabyShark malware.
- A real-time Android app named COVID-19 Trackers which is a fake COVID-19 tracking app was seen to exploit permissions of users for changing the lock screen password of the phone and then install CovidLock ransomware in exchange of some bitcoin ransom.
- Websites had some attacks with comment spamming and they contained links to some apparently safe COVID-19 data website but users were redirected to the suspicious business of drug-selling.
- Apart from malicious spam emails, there is also a new campaign where hackers are capitalizing on the huge shortage of masks for tricking recipients to pay for masks, to only send them nothing at all.
How can you stay alert about the hackers’ malicious practices during this pandemic?
If your device became infected, then hackers will be stealing your personal data and work-related data too. If your computer crashed too, you will be unable to use it to browse or work from home. It will be very difficult to repair it during all the lockdown restrictions that have been imposed because of the pandemic. But there are few simple things that can be done for spotting and dealing with Coronavirus cybersecurity attacks. You can easily check for evident signs of any fake and unofficial emails like bad spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors because most emails will be generated from outside of the country the hackers have sent it to. You also need to be worried if the email attempts in creating an urgency sense that you need to click the link immediately. Also if the content looks like it is very good to be really true, then it is probably a malicious email.
- Businesses must make sure that all secure isolated access to technologies is in proper places and well configured such as the use of numerous authentication in order to help employees in conducting business even securely while working from home.
- People should stop using any personal device that is unauthorized for work as well as makes sure that their personal device includes a great security level as compared to those of their company. They should also consider all the privacy implications of the company-owned devices that connect to any business network.
- Check the email address of the sender to find out if its legitimate and always avoid emails asking for sharing sensitive information like account passwords, bank details, etc.
- Make use of reliable sources like authorized government websites for getting all updates and facts related to COVID-19.
The pandemic and lockdown are making the situation worse as many people are at their homes and they are making use of the internet for working and also socializing. So they may use their personal laptops more and work outside the usual security protections that are given by the internal device systems’ of their company. Moreover, they are working in a demanding condition that will be leaving them to easily forget the standard security policy and thus become a victim of any phishing attack. So you must remember that cyber attackers will be using all available opportunities for exploiting a weakness in cybersecurity. So a panic-struck search for the COVID-19 health advice is a wonderful opportunity for them. So ensure that you always look out for information regarding coronavirus on reliable and authentic sources like the official website of WHO.
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