Cybercriminals exploit people’s fear of rising Covid-19 cases through malware and phishing emails from fake ids of health agencies
Along with the consistent increase of coronavirus cases, globally and in India, comes the incessant techniques cybercriminals are using to prey on public panic amidst the global epidemic. IT security firm Kaspersky has been detecting new attack tools being used by malicious threat actors related to Covid-19. It has warned the public about malicious PDF, MP4 and DOCX files disguised as documents relating to the then newly-discovered Coronavirus. Kaspersky has urged companies to beef up cybersecurity as more employees work remotely.
In recent weeks, Kaspersky experts unmasked phishing emails sent to individuals concerned about the virus. To make it more believable, cybercriminals used the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, which is a real organisation in the United States as the source of an email with recommendations about the coronavirus. The email looks legitimate initially until you click the convincing domain, cdc-gov.org, and find yourself to an Outlook log-in page, a phishing page meant to steal email credentials.
One of the latest spam campaigns mimics the World Health Organisation (WHO), showing how cybercriminals are capitalising on the important role WHO has in providing trustworthy information about the coronavirus. Users receive emails allegedly from WHO, which supposedly offer information about safety measures to be taken to avoid infection. Once a user clicks on the link embedded in the email, they are redirected to a phishing website and prompted to share personal information, which ends up in the hands of cybercriminals. Again, some malicious files are spread via email.
“While medical experts are rushing to find a cure against coronavirus, it is clear that cybercriminals are equally busy trying new techniques and tactics to milk money on organisations and individuals by exploiting the public panic on this current epidemic. Our detections in the APAC region is just the tip of the iceberg. We urge everyone to keep calm but be very cautious at the same time,” says Stephan Neumeier, managing director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.
In APAC, Kaspersky has detected 93 coronavirus-related malware in Bangladesh, 53 in the Philippines, 40 in China, 23 in Vietnam, 22 in India and 20 in Malaysia. Single-digit detections were monitored in Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, and Thailand.