The coronavirus is not only a global health and economic crisis; it has now mutated to become a global security crisis. Spammers, scammers, and hackers, or "cyberscum" as one writer dubbed them, are working overtime to profit from the increased usage of the internet and the epidemic of fear.
Proliferation of Domains
A report from ZNet states, "From tens a day in February, there are now thousands of new domains popping up daily, containing terms like coronavirus, covid, pandemic, virus, or vaccine. . .RiskIQ saw more than 13,500 suspicious domains on Sunday, March 15; more than 35,000 domains the next day; and more than 17,000 domains the day after that."
"Most of these sites are being used to host phishing attacks, distribute malware-laced files, or for financial fraud, for tricking users into paying for fake COVID-19 cures, supplements, or vaccines."
Healthcare Workers Targeted
Ransomware attacks on hospitals aren't new. Because attacks can pose a threat to the well-being of patients, cybercriminals bet on administrators quickly paying the ransom. But the coronavirus pandemic has put a big, irresistible bullseye target on the healthcare sector.
"Financial gain is, unfortunately, the only motive for criminal actors," Infosecurity professional, John Opdenakker says, "they . . . know that medical organizations are currently in a very vulnerable situation due to the coronavirus outbreak, which only increases the probability that they'll pay extortion demands."
Mobile Users Targeted
Coronavirus malware and scams are also finding their way to mobile devices. Android users are being targeted with a coronavirus tracker app that locks user devices after installation.
"The ransomware requests $100 in bitcoin in 48 hours on the ransom note. It threatens to erase your contacts, pictures, and videos, as well as your phone's memory. It even claims that it will leak your social media accounts publicly," says DomainTools
DomainTools researchers have reverse engineered the ransomware and plan to release decryption keys that will unlock phones for free.
How Do You Protect Yourself and Your Business?
Before this pandemic fades to a memory, you are likely to experience COVID-19 scams firsthand. From college students to seniors, from desktops to mobile devices, from professional services to retail and everything in between — no one is exempt from hackers' greed. What can you do about it? How can you protect yourself and your business?
Be alert and make sure you do these three things before you click on a link:
1. Be skeptical and don’t click on links or attachments on unsolicited emails. Even if these emails have an official logo—do not click on it! Send it to one of our technicians, then delete it. Just like social distancing, keep away from these and get them tested.
Note: Any email coming from Adept Solutions that contain links will have our website in the first part of the line, https://adept-solutions.net/. If you feel compelled to click a link, always hover over it first to make sure the link is going where it says it will go.
2. Be wary of charity communications. Predatory imposters go out of their way in times like these to impersonate trusted charities. Go to a trusted source when you want to give. We all have an impulse to give when others are hurting but don’t fall prey to these scams.
3. If an email seems too urgent, don’t be in a hurry to click! Scammers are always trying to increase the sense of urgency to get you to click without thinking. If you feel rushed, it is normally a sign that you are getting scammed. Readers should be highly skeptical of emails and websites that purport to provide information or goods related to the ongoing pandemic. Always confirm the primary source of those communications.
One of the most reliable, legitimate resources for COVID-19 information is the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site.
Our team is ready to assist you in any way to ensure your business succeeds during these unsettling times. Don't hesitate to contact us by phone, 530-751-5100 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org