As reported by Sky News, experts from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – have said that a range of attacks are being conducted by cyber criminals to make money out of exploiting people’s fears over COVID-19.
Bogus emails posing as communications from health authorities are being sent with links claiming to provide important updates, which when clicked instead lead to devices being infected with malware. The NCSC stated: “Individuals in the UK have been targeted by these coronavirus-themed phishing emails, with infected attachments containing fictitious ‘safety measures’.”
The spread of fear is just as contagious as COVID-19 and people are falling for these scams in panic mode. Cyber criminals are relying more on social engineering, which is the practice of deceiving or manipulating someone. Right now this tactic is proving very popular; people feel they have limited time to research the background and validation of sites. Panic is a psychological feeling that threat actors use widely, especially when there is a pandemic.
I’m also seeing a huge increase in texting scams. I’ve seen employees targeted with texts which are supposedly from their boss, requesting that they send Amazon vouchers to their business partners to apologise for business inconvenience. Employees need to verify these requests by phoning their management on the number they know to be correct before any financial transactional is made.