Due to Covid-19 and the lockdown that came with it, many threat scenarios have become much more important for companies. A recent Interpol report shows how hackers around the world are using fears and insecurities to gain access to security-sensitive data. We provide information on the most common attacks and the protective measures that go with them.

Fraudulent Websites

The demand for search terms such as “Coronavirus” and “COVID” has increased massively on Google in recent months. According to Interpol, cyber criminals are taking advantage of this development by including these keywords in domain names in order to phish via fraudulent websites and to collect data for (spear) phishing.

Malware

According to the Interpol report, critical infrastructures and health care facilities in particular have to contend with an increased incidence of malware. Such ransom attacks lead to the partial or complete paralysis of operations and the loss of sensitive data. In particular, remote access Trojans, spyware and banking Trojans can compromise networks, steal data, redirect money or set up botnets.

Online Fraud and Phishing

Phishing e-mails and online fraud are the main methods used to obtain passwords and other login information. As a result, more and more fake e-mails from the government or health authorities are circulating, claiming to contain current news about the pandemic. According to Trend Micro, 907,000 messages have been identified in connection with Covid alone since January 2020.

False Reports

The uncertain social and economic situation in the world as a result of the pandemic also makes it much easier for false reports to spread on the Internet, thus facilitating cyber attacks by hackers. Fake news such as a Covid 19 tax rebate, emergency relief, false medication or pandemic updates are advertised to redirect users to fraudulent websites or trick them into giving personal details and downloading malware.

To make phishing effective, false reports are a particularly good way of spreading the word, both in e-mails and on websites. For example, emails with attached malware such as Emotet, Trikbot and Cerberus are circulating. Spoofing is also used to spoof the email addresses of suppliers and customers in order to carry out attacks and exploit the increased demand for supplies and health products caused by Covid-19.

Protective Measures

In order to counter all these attack scenarios preventively, it is essential to inform every employee about the current threat situation. If security awareness develops in the company, hackers will find it much more difficult to penetrate the company network. In addition, internal IT specialists should be constantly informed about new threats and be trained accordingly.

Secure management of access data (including the login link) also protects against threats such as phishing attacks. Even if employees follow a false link in an e-mail or are redirected to a fake website, Password Management recognises the deception and the login is prevented. And even if employees want to enter their password on an insecure site, this can be prevented by integrated functions such as privacy protection. This ensures that passwords can be used for auto-login via single sign-on, but cannot be viewed and/or copied out.