Scammers exploiting COVID-19 Panic is the trending topic. While, The COVID-19 caused a global pandemic, spreading widely, hackers and scammers are exploiting COVID-19 Panic.
Unfortunately, cyber scammers and hackers are taking advantage of the ongoing pandemic by spending faux WhatsApp messages and fake emails. Most of these digital threats are an attempt to mislead you into clicking on harmful pages and opening links or attachments.
These actions can expose your username, password and personal information, which the scammers use to steal money or secure data. If you ever come in touch with any unauthorized organization or person, verify the authenticity before replying. But the big question is how are they executing these crimes?
Below are the ways hackers and scammers are using to exploit COVID-19 panic:
At least 16 different mobile apps are claiming to provide information about the COVID-19 but instead contain malware. Such malware includes banker Trojans (Cerberus) and adware (Hiddad). These are developed to steal users’ data or create fake revenues from paid services. Within a few weeks, there has been a significant download rate of these apps.
Email Phishing is the type of famous online scam where hackers send an email that seems to be from authentic sources and requires you to give sensitive information. Cybersecurity firm confirms that most coronavirus related phishing came with LokiBot (8%), NetWire (30%) and AgentTesla (45%).
All these corrupted malware implanted as attachments, thus allows the scammers to steal financial and personal data. The scammers tricked people into sharing personal data online as a health advisory from UNICEF, WHO, and companies like CISCO Maersk and others.
Discounts and Promotional Code Malware
Most of the shopping companies have now begun bringing items to your house. They seem to deliver goods and products even in the lockdown and the online shopping business is certainly booming.
Taking advantage of the current situation, the scammers are using disguised discount codes as a weapon on the darknet. The goal is to trick the customers into believing promotional and discount code for a financial and personal scam.
To make matter worse, phishing is not just limited in emails. The scammers are also using SMS Phishing. While the false news and misinformation continues to circulate about COVID-19, the scammers have found another way of exploiting people.
The cybersecurity and CISA also have alerted people about the fake SMS message containing malicious cyber threats. Such possible sources include WhatsApp.
Hand Sanitizer and Face Mask Scams
The criminals are quick to seize opportunities to profit themselves from the fears and panic of people throughout the crisis. Recently, the international police cooperation arrested a 39-year-old man in Singapore from his alleged involvement in fraud and financial crimes.
An anonymous pharmaceutical company in Europe conned people with an advertisement for fast delivery hand sanitizers and surgical masks. But the products were delivered. This person defrauded of €6.64 million.
As we are dependent on remote working right now, the online platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have become crucial. The hackers are sending malware software that can damage or erase resources when used on any device. These frauds are sending phishing emails and tricking users into installing malware on their system.
Cyberthreats are spreading very quickly during the coronavirus pandemic. Shockingly, hospitals and call centers are on the front line of the ransomware attack. The cybercriminals are blocking the vital files access to medical and hospital services until a ransom is given.
How to protect yourself from cybersecurity threats?
In general, stop clicking on random emails, links or pages and be cautious that your passwords and personal information are on the safe side of the internet. You can also follow authorized channels and websites like WHO, UNICEF, CNN, and others for an update.