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Huge Increase In Phishing And Malware Attacks Using Coronavirus

By April 14, 2020May 9th, 2022Cybersecurity

Around the world, hundreds of millions of people are terrified of the current pandemic that’s raging. Most of those are currently self-quarantining at home and limiting their social contacts. Everyone is hungry for news and information.

Sadly, hackers, scammers and other assorted criminals have wasted no time preying on this massive captive audience.

According to data collected by Proofpoint, there has been a massive surge in Coronavirus-themed phishing and malware attacks. In fact, these kinds of attacks now dominate the threat landscape and are likely to continue to do so until the end of the crisis.

A representative from another security company, Trustwave, is also tracking the surge in these types of attacks.

Trustwave had this to say about the trend:

Cyber criminals, proving beyond doubt they are completely devoid of morals, have ramped up their activities, unashamedly using all manner of coronavirus lures to trick people. We are now seeing dozens of different email campaigns per day.”

To be sure, some of the campaigns being launched are more sophisticated than others. Some do little more than attempt to persuade a potential victim to donate bitcoin to a phony fund.

Others are a good deal more subtle, and will pretend to be from respected groups like the World Health Organization, either promising information or asking for donations during this critical time. Naturally, anyone who attempts to access the promised information or help out will wind up with one form of malware or another installed on their system and not get the information they were promised.

These facts underscore an important point. As desperate as everyone is for information, it’s more important than ever to keep security at the forefront of our minds. No matter how temping a lure might be presented to you, refrain from clicking on links or opening files from untrusted sources.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.