Beware! You may lose data, money as major cyber attacks feared

According to CERT-In, cybercriminals would launch a phishing campaign using malicious emails intended to drive recipients towards fake websites.

Following a massive cyber attack that rattled Australia last week after the country’s relationship with China deteriorated following Australian Prime Minister’s call for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team or CERT-In has warned that India also faces a similar threat due to the Ladakh standoff.

According to CERT-In, cybercriminals would launch a phishing campaign using malicious emails intended to drive recipients towards fake websites under the pretext of local authorities in charge of dispensing government-funded COVID-19 support initiatives.

Once the recipients open such a mail, they are deceived into downloading malicious files or entering personal and financial information, which may be used to siphon off money from their bank accounts.

The State Bank of India, in an alert to its customers, said, “We have received a worrying report from CERT-In that the phishing attack campaign is expected to be carried out by cybercriminals using the suspicious email – from June 21.”

“The cybercriminals are claiming to have 2 million individual/citizen’s email IDs and are planning to send emails with the subject “Free COVID-19 Testing” inciting personal details from the residents of following cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad,” the bank further said in the alert.

So, you need to be careful while opening an email from an unknown source. Don’t fall in the trap of free offering even if it looks like it’s from government agencies and open an attachment or share personal details only after verifying the source and authenticity of the mail.

“The way tensions are escalating in the last couple of weeks at India-China border, we know China, they must be firming up plans for cyber-attacks sponsored through hacking communities or state-based cyber actors. They can launch attacks to deface government websites, increase phishing campaigns as well as perform DDoS attacks, to paralyse critical infrastructure. Chinese are known to have one of the largest cyber groups in the world working for geo-political agenda. We have observed many such aggression in the recent past against the US, Australia, and HK, and now it may be India, and we need to be ready with our defense plans,” said Rajesh Kumar, Director, Cybersecurity, Netrika Consulting India Pvt Ltd.

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