Coronavirus Phishing Attacks
News | 02/19/2020

Coronavirus Phishing Attacks–WHO Impersonators scamming public to steal data

About: Coronavirus Phishing Attacks by WHO Impostors are causing users to lose their precious data. Criminals are using the anxiety surrounding the coronavirus outbreak to extract personal data such as usernames & passwords.

| News | Coronavirus Phishing Attacks–WHO Impersonators scamming public to steal data

Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak has terrified people all over the world. Global Tourist movement saw a decline due to new coronavirus cases popping up in different countries. Scammers saw this as an opportunity & initiated coronavirus phishing attacks to steal personal data.

Corona Virus Scam

 

Security researchers from a leading cyber security firm discovered the cyber attack which is a variant of email phishing scams. Criminals impersonate WHO officials & issue fraud and false statements in the email stating a COVID-19 alert or safety precautions. Accessing such emails laden with malicious links & attachments will result in exposing your precious information like usernames & passwords to hackers.

WHO has already declared COVID-19 as a Global Public Health Emergency & issued safety precautions on their official website. However, scammers are utilizing the scepticism surrounding coronavirus. Thus, they are running a phishing campaign which lures people into exposing their data for “so-called safety instructions” against coronavirus. Read on to know more about the coronavirus scam alert.

What are the coronavirus phishing attacks?

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) with the help of leading cyber security firms recently discovered the email phishing fraud.
  • Criminals camouflaging themselves as WHO officials are sending out phishing emails with “helpful” instructions regarding coronavirus.
  • The coronavirus scam email consist of 3 commonly found data phishing techniques:
  1. The email asks the users for their usernames & passwords.
  2. This email scam is characterized by dubious links from fake WHO officials.

Coronavirus Spam e-mails

  • Some phishing emails also contain harmful attachments
  • The above-mentioned methods will expose your precious data to criminals who will use them illegal purposes like snooping or allied activities.

How does the coronavirus phishing attacks work?

  1. A WHO-Impersonator sends an email relating to the coronavirus outbreak The email will ask you to read the “highly important safety measures” against coronavirus. However, the document contains malicious attachments which are programmed to steal your data.
  2. Once the attachment “Safety Measures” is clicked upon, targeted users are redirected to a phishing page which looks like an authentic WHO Website.
  3. Users are requested to verify their email & are asked to type in their username as well as password.
  4. After the details are filled In& the verify button is clicked, users will be redirected to the official website of WHO. In the meantime, the credentials are exported to an unencrypted connection which is owned by the hackers.
  5. This enables hackers or scammers to steal your data.

How to avoid coronavirus phishing attacks?

  • Verify the authenticity of the email sender before responding.
  • The format of a WHO official is “person@who.int”. If you find any discrepancy in this format, refrain from acting on the email.
  • If you click on a purported phishing attempt email, check for the link which should start like this: “https://www.who.int”
  • If you have already submitted your credentials on the fake website, change it as soon as possible to avoid hacking.

Follow these phishing prevention techniques to ensure total protection of your data. WHO has also provided useful links to report such scammers & mitigate the menace of Coronavirus Phishing Attacks.

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