Cyber criminals are tailoring coronavirus-related phishing and malware attacks to make them more effective at targeting victims in certain locations around the world, even as attackers continue to distribute millions of malicious spam emails every single day.
Google Cloud has detailed how the past month has seen the emergence of regional hotspots for Covid-19 related cyber attacks, with the UK, India and Brazil all seeing a rise in malware, phishing and spam campaigns looking to exploit fears over the virus.
Google’s work to inform the public on the regional Covid-19-themed phishing attacks is certainly valuable to protect users from these opportunistic campaigns. It should come to no surprise that cybercriminals are trying to capitalise on this global crisis in every way they can: in March, when countries were just entering lockdown, DomainTools identified over 600 malicious domains associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
The best thing that can be done in these circumstances is to raise awareness. Attackers always hope their campaigns will reach the less tech-savvy users, and that their social engineering tricks will result in someone acting impulsively and clicking on the wrong link. While the uncertainty that has characterised this crisis makes the need for information understandable, people should remember not to let their guard down and to always double check the legitimacy of what comes through their inbox. Companies across the globe are doing their best to stop malicious email campaigns, but users’ caution is still the most effective defence against these type of threats.