The virus is now airborne
Designed to look like it’s from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this email’s subject line reads, “Covid-19 – now airborne, increased community transmission.” It uses one of the organisation’s legitimate email addresses but is sent via a spoofing tool. By directing you to a fake microsoft page and asking you to enter your details, the hackers can get control of your email account.
The scams are effective not only because the forgery looks highly plausible but because the perpetrators know that everyone is feeling under considerable stress.
Two-factor authentication is one way to protect yourself so that you have to enter a code texted to you to access your email account.
A little measure that saves
Purporting to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO), this scam claims that the attached document contains details of how you can prevent the disease’s spread. In fact, it will just infect your computer with malicious software which records every keystroke so that the hackers can monitor your every move online.
Ignore any emails that claim to be from the WHO as they’re highly likely to be fake. Instead, visit their official website or look at their social media channels for the most up-to-date advice.
Donate to the fight
The last example alleges it is from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and asks for donations in Bitcoin to help develop a vaccine. Although it may sound preposterous, the email address and signature evidently look convincing.
The security experts, Kaspersky, say they have discovered 513 files with coronavirus in their title which contain malware. Sadly, just as the real virus continues to spread, so too are these fake emails.
The golden rule is that if you’re not sure about something or know that a particular organisation wouldn’t normally contact you by email, don’t click on any attachment. If you’re in any doubt about whether something is genuine, do ask a friend or family member.