CHENNAI: The next time you get an email claiming to be an advisory related to Coronavirus or a website selling safety gear or touting cheap treatments for Covid-19, then beware. And, avoid clicking on any suspicious link.
Cyber security experts say that the pandemic-related scams are the hottest trend in cyber attacks, as fraudsters try to take advantage of the unease and panic.
Luis Corrons, security evangelist at cyber security company Avast told this publication that ransomware attacks have grown by 20 per cent globally during the pandemic—March and April—compared to January and February this year.
“Scammers are targeting victims by sending out text messages, emails appearing to be sent from a legitimate company or organisation like the WHO or the Union Ministry of Health. These messages typically include a link taking the potential victim to a site that may look real, but in reality is just a simple web page designed to gather personal information like credit card details, login credentials, and even home addresses. Some of these cyber attacks may even get access to your system. Customers need to be very perceptive these days,” said Corrons speaking to this publication.
Apart from this, the other ransomware strains that have been found active in the Indian region were Hermes, Sodinokibi, STOP ransomware, and CrySiS.
Corrons also said that there has now been a shift in the types of cyber attacks, since cyber criminals are taking advantage of the fact that many people are working from home and looking for information online around the virus.
Corrons points out that there has been a significant rise in the number of malicious websites selling masks, PPE suits, pills and even fake Covid-19 treatments.The cyber security company is also witnessing an uptick in demand for its products.
“Due to an increase in people working from home, there has been an improvement in Desktop business through the latter part of the first quarter. We have a strong user base in India, with more than 19.5M PC and Android users. The Indian market is a mobile first market with the majority of users accessing the internet on their mobile devices.
Protecting mobile devices will continue to stay a priority for us. Our threat detection network is among the most advanced in the world, allowing us to detect threats as they appear,” said Peter Turner, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Consumer, Avast.
Avoid suspicious messages selling Covid-19 cures
Experts say that scammers are targeting victims by sending out text messages and emails claiming to be from a legitimate company or organisation like the WHO or the Union Ministry of Health