Over 4 lakh Coronavirus related cyber attacks reported in 2 weeks

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 14 May 2020
HIGHLIGHTS

Around 20,000 coronavirus-related domains have been registered globally in the past three weeks, including in India.

The theme “Corona Cure” has the largest number of domain registrations.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security also reported that organisations conducting research on COVID-19 are facing the ire of hackers linked to the Chinese government.

Over 4 lakh Coronavirus related cyber attacks reported in 2 weeks

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Over 4 lakh Coronavirus-related cyber attacks have been recorded across the world, with hackers impersonating officials from WHO, UN and using popular apps like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet to attack victims, according to a report by TOI.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security also reported that organisations conducting research on COVID-19 are facing the ire of hackers linked to the Chinese government.

Malicious Coronavirus related domains registered in India

According to research by Check Point Research, a global cyber threat intelligence bureau based out of Israel, around 20,000 coronavirus-related domains have been registered globally in the past three weeks, including in India. Out of them, around 2% (354) are deemed malicious while another 15% (2,961) are considered suspicious.

The theme “Corona Cure” has the largest number of domain registrations as compared to other relevant phrases like “post corona, corona crisis and corona relief payments.” The cyber threat intelligence firm is yet to segregate the domains by country, but they reported that has been a 30 per cent increase in cyber attacks related to coronavirus in the past week.

For instance, one such attack is an email sent from a domain “who.int” posing as WHO, with the email subject, “Urgent letter from WHO: First human Covid-19 vaccine test/result update.”

Organisations researching on COVID-19 treatment being targeted by Chinese hackers

The US Department of Justice said institutions that have received media attention for their work on COVID-19 should be prepared for cyber attacks and take the necessary precautions.

However, US did not cite any examples of the attacks but warned companies and organisations working on vaccines, treatments and testing to detect and fight the novel coronavirus to take additional measures to protect data and be aware of the potential threat.

The warning comes after a long-standing accusation by the US of China meddling in US companies and theft of technology and trade secrets.

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