Hackers always use crisis situations to their advantage, and COVID-19 is not different. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, cybercriminals have attacked various businesses, hospitals, and private networks. The attackers are using ransomware, malware, phishing, smishing, vishing, and other types of attacks to target the victims. During this pandemic, the attackers are targeting most users’ trusted video conferencing platforms to steal personal information.
In the phishing scam, the attackers convince a victim to download malware or give away personal information over phone calls or emails. The hacker pretends to be a trusted person, government officials, or well-known firms to gain the trust of the victim. With the outbreak of COVID-19, many hackers impersonated to be healthcare organizations and delivered fake corona virus-related news.
The cybercriminals are now adapting for remote work and telecommuting by impersonating trusted tech platforms. The users of platforms like Skype, Zoom, and Google Meet are now the targets of cybercrime. Cybercriminals are using the false domain to create zoom meeting notification and COVID-19 themed email alerts. After clicking or responding to the attached links or email, the users end up downloading malware or compromising their data security. The cybercriminals are also tricking Skype users into relinquishing their passwords on fake Skype login pages.
Most data breaches occur due to human error, and since almost every individual is working from home, cut out from regular contact with IT security, attackers are taking advantage of the employees’ anxiety and fear. They are always using different other tricks to attack the employees.
Google’s threat analysis group has admitted that phishing threats are increasing, and around 18 million COVID-19 themed threats were identified and blocked by the mid of April. Mostly the employees who have been working from home are being targeted during this pandemic.
Various technologies can limit a scammer’s impact, but all technology cannot fully protect you from being hacked. The phishers mostly rely on social engineering to entice and trick the victim. The best and easiest way to fight back is to educate the employees about cyber attacks and the form of cybercriminal uses. It is a good idea to train them on time and enroll them in continued training and education so that they can stay updated about technologies.
Employees at every level should be more careful while opening an email that appears to be from government agencies, health experts, and businesses. Employees should be more cautious before responding to videoconferencing invitations. While working from home, employees should keep regular contact with their co-workers and peers.
Hackers have now also resorted to sending fake job termination alerts through Zoom as they want to take advantage of the confusion. Don’t panics; if you receive any alert, try to reach your co-worker or supervisor to confirm the content of the email.