Taking advantage of public fear and a global pandemic are perhaps in the standard rule books of cybercriminals. Therefore it’s no surprise that the cyber world has been rocked again, with hackers and attackers targeting unsuspecting victims with malicious “coronavirus” themed malware, ransomware and phishing websites. Now the question arises — How are they taking advantage of the global situation to create such scams?
Exploiting Global Fear
As if the global pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) wasn’t enough in the real world, cyber attackers are exploiting the same fear to create phishing websites that offer in-demand but low supply medicines at super hiked prices or even some of these websites offer cures for coronavirus, which is really not available as said by the World Health Organization.
Exploiting Individual Security Risk
The global threat of the COVID-19 has been stressed enough already, adding to that, the threat at the individual level is also risky. Companies, organizations, institutions are all fearful of the real-world risk and need to be wary for the digital world risk as well. While at the individual level, dangerous “coronavirus” related email campaigns are being sent across that might pose as information about “new” coronavirus cases but are actually phishing websites.
Researchers have noted that the rise in email phishing campaigns has grown significantly in the past few weeks. These “lures” are tactics and ways by which a cyber-attacker is pinpointing most severely affected nations and therefore exploiting individual fear. These attackers have been seen to tempt people with URLs, websites or documents that contain several “safety information” or “infection maps” that claim to be of use to the public.
Attacking Nervous Healthcare Systems
Cyber attackers are sparing no one. Recently, they used coronavirus related fears to target healthcare systems in Eastern Europe. Reports suggest that cyber attackers have successfully managed to compromise healthcare networks and disrupt systems. There are really sad times, as patients in care and intentive units are suffering the most. The already harmful pandemic is testing limits of most advanced healthcare systems in the world and more cyber-attacks will further lead to disruption and chaos all over the world if not stopped.
Targeting Coronavirus Related Ambiguity
Not only that, but experts have also found multiple instances of disinformation campaigns, email phishing campaigns, fraudulent goods, and illegal supplies all aimed towards exploiting people’s fear and ambiguity for personal gain.
Global Security Experts Warn
Experts from all over the world have been blowing the caution wind about the rise of cyberattacks around the theme of coronavirus. The threat they say, are targeted to multinational companies, schools, universities, organizations, and workplaces that are heavily dependent on digital services.
One thing is for sure, cybercriminals will take the jump and advantage of the ongoing crisis. They will use novel methods to cheat and scam people. People have reported that they have received email campaigns such as GoFundMe and/or Kickstarter to support people suffering from coronavirus or people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. These are just a scammer posing as one of the known websites and can cause real individual harm if not checked.
People are advised to install anti-virus software and log into the internet through secure networks. Global cyber experts and security professionals have warned that the number of cases is likely to rise. However, they are using full efforts and co-operation from government organizations to track and combat every single coronavirus related cybercrime.