What are cyber crooks

Coronavirus: Unsettled users in the crosshairs of cyber fraudsters

Phishing - home office

, Munich, Mimecast | Author: Herbert Wieler

Beware of fake WHO websites

As has long been known, criminals are taking advantage of the current crisis to launch attacks on people and companies. They often use social engineering methods in the course of which they pretend to be colleagues or superiors in order to induce their victims to hand over personal or business-critical data and sometimes even to transfer money.

As part of current containment measures by the WHO, cyber criminals are taking the opportunity to gain access to valuable data. As studies by the email security and cyber resilience provider Mimecast have shown, hackers send companies as well as private users credible-looking WHO emails containing a link to alleged guidelines for corona containment. The sender, language and design of the mail are made believable down to the last detail, so that even security professionals should find it difficult to recognize the fraud at first glance.

If the recipient responds to the email and clicks on the link, they will be redirected to an equally deceptively real-looking WHO website, where they will be asked to enter or confirm their access data. If he does this, the fraudster has achieved his goal and has gained valuable information that he can use for further actions such as account takeovers. What is unusual for such phishing campaigns is that in addition to an email address and a password, a telephone number is also asked. If the recipient reveals their telephone number, they can expect unwanted SMS and scam calls to be taken over, as well as receiving accounts and other spam emails.

Carl Wearn, Head of E-Crime at Mimecast, on this:

“Everyone has to be aware that in the current time of crisis cyber criminals use every means and no method is too dirty to achieve their goals. In doing so, they make use of people's uncertainty and fears to the same extent as the thirst for information about the crisis. It is therefore essential for everyone to exercise extreme caution and prudence when looking for information. Please only look for information on official news portals and websites and do not respond to emails asking you to confirm your login details. All health organizations, be they global or local, would give you important advice and information without asking you for personal information ”.

In addition, every user should exercise the required caution when receiving messages from unknown senders. This includes, for example, not opening any attachments or links unless it is 100% certain that they are harmless. Compressed attachments and documents with macros are just as suspicious here as links to unknown websites. Two-factor authentication offers additional protection against identity and data theft.