With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 crisis, it should be no surprise that enterprising criminals have found ways to exploit this situation for profit. Two of the more common attacks from cyberfraudsters include: (1) a phishing site that leads victims to install a “COVID-19 tracking application” from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Amazon that is actually malware and (2) a trojan that tricks people into thinking there are infected people nearby and requesting payment details to find out exactly where. Experts have revealed that about 80% of those exploiting the COVID-19 crisis are doing so through “virtual surveys”. Moreover, much of this activity is targeting Russian users.
In total, the number of cyberattacks has quadrupled since March 16, 2020 when compared to the same period just one year ago. The majority of such attacks are phishing efforts that take victims to fake sites that are infected with viruses. Experts caution users to only install software from official app stores and businesses’ websites as well as to never enter any confidential information (including passwords and payment card data) on unverified sites. Experts also recommend using secure payment systems when completing online transactions and ensuring that home networks are protected with comprehensive anti-virus solutions that include anti-phishing modules.