Cybercriminals are Attempting to Exploit the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

20 Apr Cybercriminals are Attempting to Exploit the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

Heads up, last week Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued another Alert: # AA22-099A. The alert summarizes how cybercriminals are attempting to exploit the COVID-19 global pandemic. Cybercriminals are putting methods in place to execute successful ransomware attacks, Phishing attacks and business espionage.

From the Alert:
Both APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups and cybercriminals are likely to continue to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic over the coming weeks and months.

Threats observed include:
• Phishing: using the subject of coronavirus or COVID-19 as a lure.
• Malware distribution: using coronavirus- or COVID-19- themed lures.
• Registration of new domain names containing wording related to coronavirus or COVID-19.
• Attacks against newly—and often rapidly—deployed remote access and teleworking infrastructure.

Teleworking Security Risks

Teleworking (working from home) presents its own set of challenges. Cybercriminals hope to exploit the chaotic environment created when organizations suddenly scramble to set up employees to work remotely. In a perverse way, they are rooting for organizations to successfully set up basic remote access.

The security vulnerabilities start with employees using their personal computers to connect to work using poorly secured home networks. From there, considering home networks likely have multiple users including:

• Visitors accessing games.
• Web-based teaching tools.
• Social media websites.
• E-commerce sites and streaming platforms.

The devices on the network likely include laptops, PC’s, tablets, printers and smart phones. Each device adds to the overall level of security vulnerabilities. This is the case because now there are multiple operating systems, which are often not up to date and are inadequately secured, or unsecured entirely.

In addition to the technical details, the Alert warns many employees are new to working from home and are more vulnerable to phishing and ransomware attacks. At work, they assume their corporate network is secure and protecting them from such attacks. They also trust the emails and files they receive are free of malware. Unfortunately, with many telework arrangements, the network security that would typically block phishing scams and ransomware are not in place.

Contact Us today to deploy a proactively managed telework solution with business level security for your business or organization. Call 440.239.8426 for 24 hour emergency services. At a minimum consider taking us up on our offer of a free network security assessment.

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