Cyber Security Risk – Advice and Guidance
It has been identified by multiple sources that cyber criminals have started to exploit the Coronavirus epidemic. There has been an increase in Coronavirus linked phishing emails, websites that download malicious software and with a growing number of people working from home and self-isolating this could make users and networks more susceptible to attacks.
It is important everyone is vigilant against cyber attacks, more now than ever; below is a list of recently released guidance which can help:
Mitigating malware and ransomware attacks:
How to defend organisations against malware or ransomware attacks
Cyber experts step in as criminals seek to exploit Coronavirus fears
Experts at the NCSC have revealed phishing attacks exploiting worries over COVID-19
Fake Online Coronavirus Map Delivers Well-known Malware
A malicious website pretending to be the live map for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University is circulating on the internet waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website. Visiting the website infects the user with the AZORult trojan, an information stealing program which can exfiltrate a variety of sensitive data. It is likely being spread via infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, and social engineering. Furthermore, anyone searching the internet for a Coronavirus map could unwittingly navigate to this malicious website.
Coronavirus Related Scams
Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800k. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers. Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world
Fraudsters are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.
Some of the other tactics we’ve identified from victim reports:
- Fraudsters purporting to be from research organisation’s affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) contact potential victims over email. They claim to be able to provide the recipient with a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. In order to access this information, the victim needs to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or is asked to make a payment in Bitcoin.
Watch out for scam messages:
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit.: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely
Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. For information on how to update your devices, please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices
Take Five to Stop Fraud
Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.
If you have been a victim of cyber crime, please report this to Action Fraud. The information you provide may help protect others from becoming a victim of cyber crime, if people do not tell us what is happening, then we do not know the true extent of the problem. You can report to action fraud via:
If you are a business, charity or other organisation which is currently suffering a live cyber attack (in progress), please call 0300 123 2040 immediately.
Examples of Attacks: