Israel-based security firm Check Point said cyber-criminals are quickly taking advantage of the panic caused by Covid-19 for their own gain.
The company said its Global Threat Index for January 2020 showed cyber-criminals are exploiting interest in the global epidemic to spread malicious activity, with several spam campaigns relating to the outbreak of the virus.
Since January 2020, based on Check Point Threat Intelligence, there have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains registered globally.
Out of these websites, 3% were found to be malicious and an additional 5% are suspicious. Coronavirus- related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered at the same period, and also higher than recent seasonal themes such as Valentine’s day.
Many of these domains will probably be used for phishing attempts. Check Point said many websites known to be related to malicious activities lure their victims to their websites with discussions around the virus, as well as from scam websites that claim to sell face masks, vaccines, and home tests that can detect the virus.
In addition, a widespread targeted coronavirus themed phishing campaign was recently spotted targeting Italian organizations, hitting over 10% of all organizations in Italy with the aim of exploiting concerns over the growing cluster of infections in the country.
So, how can you avoid falling victim to these scam attempts? Check Point is recommending these steps for safe online behavior: