Home Deep DiveArticles Malware authors and scammers adapt to current events

Malware authors and scammers adapt to current events


Cyber criminals are opportunists that continuously evolve their methods of attack. And, as history has shown us, the bigger the global visibility of a cyber-attack opportunity – be it government elections, religious holidays or global events such as we find ourselves in today – bad actors employ every tool in their arsenal to make the most of every attack opportunity.

According to the World Health Organization, email attacks impersonating that organisation have increased two-fold since the beginning of March. And this is just one of many examples of current cyber-attacks posing as a trusted global organization, as every nation in the world is trying to manage through these unprecedented times.

Taking optimal advantage of world events, we are seeing trends of cyber attackers leaning into social-engineering that utilizes popular keywords – such as Coronavirus and COVID-19 – to execute online scams, phishing and malware attacks.

Following is an overview of recent global cyber-attack trends Forcepoint has been tracking to give you a view into what to look out for and how to protect yourself against impending cyber-attacks that take advantage of today’s global climate.

Standard Phishing

Phishing related campaigns have one goal – tricking people into entering their personal details or valuable credentials into a fake application or on a “legitimate” looking web site. Our first subject under analysis is pretending to be a missed call about a COVID-19 update. The email contains no text in the message body, but rather an attachment with an .htm” extension.

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