Cyber threat actors and organized criminals are attempting to exploit and cash in on our need for information related COVID-19. This coupled with the exponential shift to a remote workforce has exposed new attack vector(s) for exploitation by these nefarious groups. COVID-19 themed spear-phishing campaigns were launched immediately in concert with the World Health Organization’s declaration.
These phishing campaigns fall into three main categories:
- Personal information: In exchange for information related to government economic stimulus checks, loan or mortgage abatement, airline refunds, or other types of economic relief.
- Fraud: These take the form of brokerage or retirement emails that result in an account takeover (e.g., “In light of COVID, we’re asking you to move your money to a different account.”), fake charitable contributions, fake cures, counterfeit testing kits and vaccines, or counterfeit personal protective equipment.
- eCommerce: With more people at home and ordering online, the order volumes have increased exponentially. Fraudsters are using this to hide in the volume through the following types of phishing schemes: ATO (account takeover) of dormant accounts and return/refund/replacement fraud.
Now more than ever, it is important for organizations to remain vigilant as these threats continue to emerge.