Coronavirus (COVID-19), Computer Viruses and Phishing

Hacker Photo

Here’s how the Coronavirus, computer viruses and phishing attacks are intertwined.

Viruses, malware, ransomware and phishing attacks are all examples of how our data can be compromised and corrupted by infecting local computers and networks.

The term “computer virus” is very fitting if one thinks of how the Coronavirus works. The theory is that the virus comes to you from an external source, such as another person (like a hacker), or an environmentally contaminated source (like a phishing email where the person/user touches or clicks a contaminated source or email link).  Once the infiltrator gets in, the virus (hacker), now has the ability to infect your systems with a sore throat, influenza, fever (or computer virus, ransomware etc.)

We now face a physical virus to humans that is requiring us to re-think how we perform our jobs and maintain our current business environments unlike anything we have seen for 100 years. As a further connection between biological viruses and computer viruses/malware/phishing, the Coronavirus situation has provided hackers further ammunition to use fear and panic to target networks and staff.  They have invented new phishing scams, that can steal your personal information and potentially corrupt your data with ransomware attacks.

Cyber Security Firm “Check Point” announced March 5, 2020, an uptick in coronavirus related phishing attacks and a few key findings were:

Over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains — that is, they contain words like “corona” or “covid” — have been registered since the beginning of 2020. Of those, 3 percent were considered malicious and another 5 percent were suspicious. Three percent might not seem like much, but according to Check Point, this means that a coronavirus-related domain is 50 percent more likely to be malicious than any other domain registered during the same time period. Check Point believes many of those malicious sites will be used in phishing campaigns. Phishing emails are ones that appear to be from a trusted source, tricking you into providing sensitive information, downloading malware, or clicking a link to a website that can do either.

A few days ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) put out a warning about phishing attempts via emails from apparent WHO representatives. The agency is getting reports of coronavirus-related phishing attempts on a nearly daily basis, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Recent example of a Coronavirus Phishing Attack:

Coronoavirus Phishing

Lean more about Phishing and Security Training by contacting BSC Solutions Group.