Living with the Covid 19 pandemic should be stressful enough, but we are seeing an increasing number of cyber security threats that are using the pandemic to infiltrate and cause havoc on technology and business. Two recent zdnet.com articles have illuminated these threats.
We have had customers complain about falling victim to recent phishing email scams. The email headings pretend to be advice from the World Health Organization or other similar sources and include attachments that, when opened, steal banking credentials and install a botnet to enable future crimes. Some of these emails actually provide legitimate information regarding Covid 19, but the attachments contain malware. Some of these pretend to offer information on a cure for the virus and ask for personal information, including financial information.
Another new scamming trend takes advantage of the small business relief fund that many businesses are utilizing. In these emails, the criminals pretend to be SBA officials and ask for personal information. An IBM survey, cited in zdnet.com, claims that 40% of business owners surveyed believe they have received such scam emails. There are similar emails pretending to be from American Express and Wells Fargo. All ask for account verification.
The bottom line is, don’t panic and do not open any attachments, unless you are 100% positive it is from a trusted source. Even if it is an internal email, and you are not sure, it is much safer to ask first before opening.
It is sad that we have to be reminded of safe technology practices in this difficult time, but it is much better than having to deal with a malware or other cyber crime disaster.
Stay safe and contact us with any questions. Also, take a look at other blog posts on our website on reminders for best practices for cyber security.