Coronavirus Phishing Attack Infects US, UK Inboxes

Cybercriminals capitalize on fears of a global health emergency with phishing emails claiming to offer advice for protecting against coronavirus.



As people grow concerned about the Wuhan coronavirus, now classified as a global emergency by the World Health Organization, cybercriminals are preying on their fear with phishing emails claiming to have advice on protective safety measures. Emails have been seen in the US and UK.

The attack was detected by security researchers at Mimecast. A sample email, which claims to come from a health specialist, advises the recipient to "go through the attached document on safety measures regarding the spreading of corona virus," adding "This little measure can save you." Below is a link entitled "Safety Measures.pdf" that purportedly redirects to health advice.

Cybercriminals often use global events or confusion to their advantage, launching phishing campaigns or other attacks supposedly sharing helpful information about public concerns. "These actors are opportunistic and inventive — identifying vulnerabilities in infrastructure and defenses, which they then use to improve their attack methodologies," says Dr. Francis Gaffney, director of threat intelligence for Mimecast, in an email to Dark Reading.

Gaffney advises remaining vigilant when reviewing emails related to coronavirus protections. He also encourages basic cyber hygiene practices — for example, using strong passwords and not enabling attachment macros.

Read more details here.

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