Hackers are just like everyone else on the Coronavirus COVID-19, but they use the hype and public concern for phishing tactics and fake websites. For example, more than 4000 domain names have been registered that had something to do with the Coronavirus.

Large events are cancelled, but hackers don’t cancel their activities. There are websites in circulation offering coronate testing under false pretences, and people interested in news about the virus get targeted phishing attacks.

Examples of fake emails include emails from scammers impersonating the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The e-mails usually contain an attachment, which is often a document enticing readers to open it, in order to obtain important information about the necessary precautions against the virus.

Phishing and malware

For example, the fake attachments can cause users to be infected with trojans or other malware.

“Recently, the number of phishing emails purporting to be from companies’ trusted business partners and public organizations is increasing, ” reported Orion Cassetto of security firm Exabeam to SiliconAngle. “Phishing is essentially a form of social engineering. In this case, cybercriminals are utilizing the world’s alertness around COVID-19 to entice people to click on malevolent links and/or download attachments.” .

According to Cassetto, the media circus around COVID-19 could also lead to malware infections, network break-ins, account theft and identity theft. He therefore advises staff to be as alert as possible and, if an e-mail is even slightly suspicious, not to click on anything.