The new coronavirus pandemic continues to be used by criminals in online attacks in recent months, according to a survey by cybersecurity company Check Point, released on Thursday (25). Each week in June, there were about 130,000 attempts at scams linked to Covid-19 globally. On the other hand, the numbers are decreasing and fell 24% compared to the month of May. One possible reason is that hackers have also been taking advantage of other prominent themes in the news to attract victims, such as the Black Lives Matter movement. In general, cyberattacks grew by 18% in June, compared to the figures for May this year.
READ: Brazilians are the target of scams that steal card data; Look
The main technique used by criminals in scams is phishing attacks, those that seek to trick the victim into downloading malware or providing information that benefits the criminal. They can be targeted at companies or individuals and the goal is usually to obtain personal, banking or credit card details.
Criminals take advantage of hot topics in the media to apply scams – Photo: Pond5
Want to buy cell phones, TV and other discounted products? Discover Compare dnetc
The new coronavirus continues to have a global impact, but different countries and regions are at different stages of the pandemic. While countries like Brazil, India and the United States are still in a critical situation, much of Europe is gradually returning to normal. This scenario is also reflected in the “cybercrime economy”.
According to data from Check Point, the risk of a company being impacted by malicious websites related to Covid-19 is greater when it is in a country that still has closed deals and is in the midst of fighting the epidemic. The graph below shows the change in the number of entities affected by cyber attacks of this type in the different regions of the planet, from May to June 2020.
The change in the impact suffered by companies with cyber attacks related to covid-19 in the regions of the world – Photo: Reproduction / Check Point
As companies reopen offices and establishments, cybercriminals take advantage of measures being taken by organizations to prevent new infections. Many have been promoting online courses and training to explain the resumption rules and prepare their employees. With that in mind, criminals distribute phishing emails and malicious files disguised as educational material about the coronavirus.
Phishing email tries to convince victim to sign up for fake employee training and leads to misunderstood website – Photo: Playback / Check Point
In addition, cybercriminals are also eyeing other news topics to use as bait. A recent example is in the Black Lives Matter movement (Black Lives Matter, in Portuguese). A malicious campaign that took advantage of the subject was discovered by researchers in early June, when global anti-racism protests were at their height. E-mails entitled “Give your opinion confidentially on ‘Black Lives Matter’”, “Leave an opinion on ‘Black Lives Matter’” or “Vote anonymously on ‘Black Lives Matter’” actually carried a .doc file containing known malware like Trickbot.
How to prevent online scams
The user must always be aware of this type of scam on the Internet, therefore, some precautions are essential. Pay attention to e-mail domains and senders, as names similar to authentic and well-known services can reveal an attempt by criminals to impersonate a company. Misspelled texts and poor design are also indicative that something is wrong. Be very careful with files received as an attachment, especially if you are asked to do something that seems to be out of standard procedures.
See also: How to identify scams received by cell phone
How to identify cell phone scams
When you receive an email with promotions from an online store, avoid clicking the link. Instead, do a Google search for the respective website and see if you find the same offer in the real store. Also, when an opportunity seems too good to be real, chances are good that it isn’t. For example, «exclusive cure for covid-19 for $ 150» is not a reliable offer. It is easy to see that there is no cure for the disease today, and when it does, it will certainly not appear first on sale on an obscure website. Finally, not reusing passwords between different applications and accounts is always a good idea.