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Cybercriminals Are Using COVID-19 to Commit Fraud and People are Taking the Bait

Due to COVID-19, all aspects of our lives have changed significantly. Even crime is different, and we can all see a change in the attitude of criminals who are seizing the opportunity to benefit from the situation. 

Cybercrime has had a massive rise over the last few years and is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world. According to cybercrime statistics, hackers attack someone online every 32 seconds.

Cybercrime in Search of Information

It’s not strange in the world of hackers to attack companies and businesses to gain insight into their modus operandi. Since everything’s online, it’s much easier for criminals to breach the security systems to obtain confidential information. 

Still, one thing is quite peculiar. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hackers were trying to breach the security protocols of the World Health Organization. In April 2020, 450 WHO email passwords leaked on the internet. The organization said that since COVID-19 started, a lot more cyberattacks have happened. 

People were outraged when President Donald Trump called WHO a profitable organization and announced that he would cut funding. Some individuals obviously wanted to prove his claims and get inside information on their own.

Phishing Scams Using COVID-19 Themes

Probably everyone who has an email address got that offer from a Nigerian prince who wanted to reclaim his wealth. This scam is one of the longest-running on the internet because it “guarantees” fast money without much effort.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, people are scared and obsessed with information about the virus. They are willing to click on almost anything that will provide them with information about a novel vaccine against the virus or anything related. 

According to KPMG, their member firms received a number of spear-phishing attacks that aimed at collecting Office 365 credentials. These attempts started happening in mid-February, and the attackers had different methods and tactics. What’s interesting is that they all used COVID-19 as a cover for their intentions. 

How to Act Accordingly?

Everyone must be aware that there are people who are taking advantage of the situation to cause harm. They don’t care how cruel this is. 

The first line of defense is to understand the threat and be more careful than usual when it comes to news and links associated with COVID-19. All emails and web pages containing information or clickbait links to COVID-19 news shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the source is not relevant, ignoring is the best choice. 

Even the Council of Europe recognized the threat and urged the state officials to take this problem more seriously and act accordingly. The authorities from different states were asked to cooperate and bring to justice those who used the pandemic for criminal acts.

What Are Some of the Most Usual Scam Tactics? 

Hackers are aware of fear associated with COVID-19, and they are taking advantage of it. What’s more problematic is that if someone opens some of these emails or web pages at work, the entire company is at risk of being attacked. 

According to the PWC article on protection from COVID-19 scams, there’s a list of most common threats. Here are some of them:

  • Email titles as government announcements.
  • Announcements about disruption in your industry.
  • Hidden malware.
  • Advice about protecting yourself.
  • False charities.

Conclusion

According to the information listed above, everyone can see how hackers quickly grab our attention and manage to steal information. There are no ethics in crime, and cybercrime is no different. 

We need to be aware of this fact, protect ourselves, and protect the companies we work for. That’s the only way to stay safe.

Written by sortiwa

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