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Phishing scams often they prey on the victim’s fear by using real and current threats

phishing scams

So it’s no surprise that the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is being used to dupe people

Coronavirus COVID 19

What is coronavirus Malware?

Hackers are using the crisis to pretend to offer information or services to the public which are actually filled with malware designed to hurt or steal from people.

Here are a few examples. 

Organisational targeted emails

Phishing email scams with attachments have been discovered that target the education and healthcare organisations with a so-called cure for COVID-19 cure. Once the attachments are opened the malware is initiated stealing information and wreaking havoc.

Targeting Italy

In the week beginning 16 March a spoofing campaign targeting Italian email addresses was launched. This happened to be just the time when the Italian government increased the quarantine measures.  The emails contained an attachment supposedly containing a list of precautions to take to stop the spread of the virus. When the attachment was opened by recipients their device was compromised stealing personal information.  

Working from Home email scams

As many people have heeded the advice to work from home. Hackers are sending emails claiming to be from company HR departments asking users to sign into DocuSign or Microsoft Word.  If you obey and follow the instructions your login credentials are stolen. 

Coronavirus maps

Several organisations have produced reactive maps allowing viewers to track the latest statistics of the global pandemic. 

However, hackers have created websites showing Coronavirus maps but with the facility to inject malicious file on your PC and steal your passwords and credit card details.

How can I stay safe?

First of all make sure you are using trusted and reliable sources

Here’s a shortlist of a few for the UK and Ireland:

World Health Organisation (WHO)

National Health Service (NHS)

Ireland’s Health Services (HSE)

Government of Ireland (Gov.ie)

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

Don’t click on links in unknown emails

Even if the email seems legitimate, check it and check it again. Does the email address match the sender's name? Are there any spelling errors or strange grammar?

Don't trust Social Media!

Do not rely on information you find in Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp

Preventing the spread of fake news is a tough challenge. Currently there is so much inaccurate information being spread about the coronavirus that the WHO have stated they were facing an “infodemic” in their attempt to curb the misinformation.  Google, Facebook, and Twitter have said they are working hard to remove coronavirus misinformation, and are working with the WHO and government agencies to make sure the correct information is given to the public.  In the UK official NHS guidance is now displayed at the top of internet search results.

We hope this is helpful and your team at Easykey (all working form home of course) wish you safe computing and good health. 

Find out more about CloudCare AntiVirus

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