On top of everything else to contend with you also need to be especially vigilant to COVID-19 based phishing emails – we talked about phishing emails generally in a previous blog post “Why you should fear the spear”
I’ll refrain from expressing fully the contempt that all decent thinking people must feel towards those wishing to capitilise on the Corona Virus for nefarious means. The sad fact is, that just as we need to protect ourselves against the virus we also need to protect ourselves against fraudulent emails using the virus as a method to encourage users to open them and click on the links held within.
Cyber security immunity runs low
There’s been lots of talk about keeping our immune systems strong, and right now our Cyber Security Immunity runs the risk of being low.
We’re all hungry for the latest information and feeling very unsettled – this makes us a fertile hunting ground for cyber criminals – they can play on our emotional stress in various ways:
- Playing on our fear
- Attackers will use tabloid headline related content in their message headers, anxious users hungry for more information may open emails with less vigilance as usual in their eagerness to see the content purported to be contained within the links they are being encouraged to click
- Instilling a sense of urgency
- Urgency has always been a go to for malicious actors, humans that aren’t given time to think are more likely to be fooled. They’ll play on this by leveraging related headers – i.e. limited number of prototype home COVID-19 testing kits, click to order yours now
- Irresistible, fantastical subject headers
- Playing on our desire for good news they may utilise tantilising type statements such as: COVID-19 Home Cure Discovered Using Everyday Household Items!
By the way, these attacks are by no means limited to just phishing type emails, the criminals are using all means of social media including popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter – so we need to be vigilant across the board. They are also creating fraudulent virus tracking apps for download on smartphones.
Things to consider before clicking on email links
In summary now more than ever we must be cyber security aware, when it comes to any form of digital media we need to think before we click and open. Always consider the following:
- Does it seem almost too good to be true?
- Is it asking that I act fast without thinking?
- Does it come from a trusted source?