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Common Covid-19 Threats to Look Out For


Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the current climate that Covid-19 has brought and amongst the confusion, are thinking of unique ways to achieve their goals. Below are examples of common cyber threats, accumulated by Booz Allen Hamilton.


False emails containing Covid-19 information

This common social engineering technique is something people have seen before but when it contains information relating to one's health, it can be perceived differently. Statements from professional or government figures have been used in Hong Kong and China but actually contained ransomware and a malware bot. PDF attachments appearing to include safety measures was actually a trojan for remote access.

Fake websites and maps

Back in February 2020, "Check Point reported 3% of all COVID-19-themed domains to be malicious and another 5% as suspicious, out of a sample of more than 4,000 domains." An increase of websites containing the words Covid-19 jumped yet many were unsafe. There were even fakes of the well-trusted Johns Hopkins University's Covid-19 tracking map.

Phishing

According to Booz Allen Hamilton, "phishing campaigns target Microsoft Outlook and Office365". These scams appear to offer preventative measures or information such as donating food, water and medical, purchasing a (fake) vaccine, or accessing secret information not available to the general public. 

How to be cyber aware?

  • Obtain Covid-19 information from official websites such as WHO or government websites. You don't normally received information from them straight to your email so be wary of them, especially if attachments are included.

  • No vaccine currently exists and offers regarding hand sanitisers or supplements are not trustworthy.

  • Spread the word to others if you have come across a scam, if more people become aware, it will falter cyber criminals efforts.

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