As the number of COVID-19 cases globally neared 700,000 in 177 countries in the last week of March 2020, the scope and shape of cyber crime hoping to capitalize on the global coronavirus pandemic came into focus.
Scammers have successfully used the fear of the virus on every platform they can. Cyber criminals aren’t just exploiting consumers’ panic, they’re going after organizations leading the fight against the virus. And members of the cyber security community have vowed to use their expertise to track down the perpetrators of these opportunistic attacks.
Here’s what you need to know.
Hackers target hospitals slammed by coronavirus
Brno University Hospital, a key Covid-19 testing site in the Czech Republic, was one of the first medical facilities forced to turn away patients suffering serious conditions and postpone surgeries were postponed as the hospital endured a cyber attack that down their computer systems.
‘Elite’ hackers target the World Health Organization
A sophisticated attack on the WHO was identified in early March. The agency helping to lead the global response against COVID-19 is reporting “two-fold” increase in cyber attacks.
UK firm preparing for coronavirus vaccine trials hit by ransomware
The Maze ransomware group published the personal details of thousands of former patients of the Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR), after the company refused to pay a ransom. HMR, a leading health care researcher, is preparing to carry out eventual COVID-19 vaccine trials, as it did for the Ebola vaccine.
Link: Computer Weekly
Coronavirus hackers face wrath of the cyber security industry
Cyber attacks, like the one on Brno University and the WHO, have prompted the cyber security community to offer tools and assistance to fight back these opportunistic assaults that could have deadly consequences.
Thousands of COVID-19 scam and malware sites are being created on a daily basis
Malware authors and fraudsters are using the web to infect and scam users with promises of miracle cures and other ways to avoid the ills of COVID-19.
WhatsApp takes on COVID-19 misinformation
In response to a flurry of hoaxes proliferating across the app combined with an explosion in use, WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook launched joint efforts with the WHO to battle misuse related to COVID-19.
Read more: Facebook
A million dollars lost on COVID-19-related scams in just the UK
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported £800,000 (US$1 million) in coronavirus-related fraud since Feb 10. One victim paying £15,000 for masks that never arrived.
Read more: Channel News Asia
Looking for insights about cyber security during a pandemic?
Join F-Secure’s Chief Operating Officer Mikko Hypponen for a free webinar this Wednesday, April 1.
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