COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is causing a global crisis of historic proportions—it’s not only changing the way we work, learn, travel, and interact with each other, but also increasing online security risks for both individuals and organizations. With the coronavirus forcing millions to work and study from home and interact more online than in person, cybercrime and cyber-attacks are on the rise.
Cybercriminals have long used current events and social trends to spread malware and maximize the impact and dissemination of malicious campaigns, and for the past few weeks, cybercriminals have increasingly exploited the coronavirus for social engineering campaigns designed to infect online accounts and systems.
Related content: Strategies to help your institution combat cyberattacks
In this challenging time, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and your organization from the increasing risk of cyber-attacks. Here are some of the major coronavirus-themed cyberattacks used around the world, along with some strategies for better online safety.
COVID-19 and cybercrime: What you need to know
Phishing scams are attacks in which a hacker/criminal impersonates a legitimate certified entity to steal sensitive information, install malicious malware on the user’s computer, or cause damage.
Recently, many cybersecurity and cyber intelligence companies have reported a significant increase in the number of phishing attempts purporting to provide updates about the coronavirus. For example, the cybersecurity firm Check Point reports that coronavirus-themed domains are 50 percent more likely to be malicious than other domains. Cyber-criminals are no doubt aware that people are hungry for up-to-the-minute information about the virus and its spread, and may be eager to click on any link that promises them such information.