Cybercriminals Exploiting COVID-19 To Spread Their Brand Of Viruses

 Friday, March 20, 2020

 Insurance Business

The mounting threat of COVID-19 has placed the healthcare system of many nations under a huge amount of pressure, and cybercriminals could be exploiting this to spread viruses - but instead of biological ones, these are computer viruses.

According to a study by US-based cyber insurance start-up Corvus, cybercriminals are increasingly turning to the health sector for targets.

In January 2020, four healthcare entities reported attacks — the most in any quarter since 2017. Corvus predicted a rapid increase of 12 for the full quarter. In 2019, healthcare entities were targeted for a ransomware attack more than 24 times, and it seems that the frequency is only going to continue increasing.

Phishing is the most common method used in order to gain entry into healthcare entities’ systems, accounting for 91% of cases, according to the study.
“We know that phishing is the most common attack vector for ransomware and other malware attacks,” Mike Karbassi, head of cyber underwriting at Corvus, told Corporate Risk and Insurance.

“With the accelerating outbreak of coronavirus, criminals hope to leverage the confusion and desire for official information to make their favored tactic even more effective. Security researchers have uncovered examples of phishing emails purporting to be from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, attempting to get victims to download a PDF or click a link that supposedly contains important information about the virus.”
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