COVID-19 and The Shame of Accelerating Cyberattacks


With COVID-19 lockdown upon us, there is no precedent for how much more dependent we are on the internet than now. While our use may be the same, our dependency is now. This is not just about how we get our information, but how we operate our businesses and socially interact. With dependency comes other risks. This piece is not about fear, it is about protecting ourselves through awareness.

On Sunday, a foreign group endeavored to hack the Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to spread disinformation about a nationwide quarantine. A Czech hospital managing patients infected with COVID-19 was recently hit with ransomware. Phishing campaigns impersonating Johns Hopkins, CDC and World Health Organization in connection with COVID-19 have gotten so excessive that the WHO posted a warning that “criminals are disguising themselves as WHO to steal money or sensitive information.”  In one scheme, cybercriminals were using the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker on malicious websites to spread password stealing malware.  Looking for that handy COVID-19 tracking app on your phone?  There are already numerous examples of Android apps claiming to do just that but instead lock you out of your phone and demand ransomware (by the way, if you want the link to the REAL John Hopkins website where you can track COVID-19, it is here….ransomware and malware free!)

There is plenty to say about the types of humans who would stoop to attack nations and vulnerable people during times such as these, but that is not the point of this short piece.  The point is that our increasing dependency on our devices and the opportunities that times of chaos brings is not un-noticed by cyber criminals of growing sophistication. There is no moral code that cybercriminals and state sponsored cyber attackers abide by.  Ensure that you and your organization are protecting your processes, your people and your technology. At the very least, make sure that no one is your organization has the power to initiate a financial transfer without a verbal confirmation from the party requesting it and make sure that your teleworkers’ security is next.

Helical has the tools and the people to help with the security and business continuity challenges that your organization is facing now.  Feel free to reach out to me to learn more at [email protected] or visit our website.

Helical has been publishing short pieces re. how to protect yourself and your organization from the effects of COVID-19.  Links are provided below for your convenience:

Secure Teleworking: Is Your Business Ready?

Vendor Risk, Force Majeure and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Plan Of Action

Basic Steps Can Make A Big Difference for the Coronavirus Outbreak

Businesses Not Prepared for Coronavirus Supply Side Disruptions

Tags: #pandemiccybersecurity #cybersecurity #COVID-19cyberattacks


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