Almost one-fifth of all mails blocked daily by Gmail have some link with COVID-19, Google says. According to the tech giant, spam mails that are automatically filtered by the systems are not even counted.

On average, Gmail blocks around one hundred million malicious e-mails a day, of which the percentage of corona virus-related messages hit eighteen million last week. According to Google, another 240 million spam mails (related to COVID-19) are added every day. According to Google, Gmail’s security is closely monitored and updated in order to keep the detection rate (and blocking of such mails) at more than 99.9 percent.

Because of the massive amount of people working at home due to the corona crisis, malicious parties are taking advantage. In their most recent blog post, Google shows a number of examples of messages that have been blocked, in which attempts are made in various ways to persuade someone to click on a link.

Helping hit organisations

Not only are such e-mails blocked, but Google is also trying to find solutions for the organisations. The World Health Organization is a widely used fake sender, so Google has approached the actual WHO to speed up the implementation of Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). This would prevent messages from the real WHO from also being seen as spam, while illegitimate mails could be detected more quickly.

According to Google, the most commonly used phishing and malware emails are not new, but the messages have simply been modified to respond to the corona virus. So, mails are not only sent on behalf of the WHO, but also on behalf of non-existent companies or from a non-existent IT department.