With a global pandemic at the forefront of our mind, it is also a prime opportunity for hackers to attempt to exploit the situation. As our focus is on the effects of the virus on our businesses, our communities and our families, our overall cyber guard could be down simply due to distraction and a little ingenuity on the criminals’ behalf. Much like the recommendation to take a little longer washing your hands, it is imperative all take a little longer when checking your email or browsing online.

Malware Disguised as an Information Tool
There have already been instances of successful malware deployment while disguising itself as information about the pandemic. Coronavirusmap.com.exe is a real time map that pulls information from the CDC about cases of the coronavirus and visually illustrates the impact. However, this map also steals information from your browser. It is imperative to ensure your sources are legitimate and secure. Read more at Hacker News: Beware of ‘Coronavirus Maps’ – It’s a malware infecting PCs to steal passwords.

Preying on the Charitable Spirit
People may also use this global situation as an opportunity to raise funds to help those affected by COVID-19. As with the widespread fires in Australia, both legitimate and illegitimate campaigns have emerged. Criminals have started up GoFundMe pages promising to donate 100% of the contributions to aid the relief efforts – only for the money to just disappear. While raising funds for those impacted is always welcome, a little bit of research into the credibility of the campaign is key to ensuring the funds are truly getting to those in need. Read more about charitable giving and other concerns in the recent Secret Service’s release.

The NISC Cybersecurity Services Team is always here to help. Simply send us an email to cybersecurity@nisc.coop.