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Technology Beware these coronavirus hacking threats, UK and US agencies warn

16:46  09 april  2020
16:46  09 april  2020 Source:   cnet.com

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Hackers are using the coronavirus pandemic to target internet users, according to a warning Wednesday from two cybersecurity agencies. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency put out a joint statement saying the pandemic is an attractive tool for cybercriminals and state-sponsored hackers, who can use the fears and anxieties caused by COVID-19 to trick people.

a close up of a black keyboard: Hackers are using coronavirus fears and anxiety to target internet users, government agencies from the UK and US said Wednesday. Angela Lang/CNET © Provided by CNET Hackers are using coronavirus fears and anxiety to target internet users, government agencies from the UK and US said Wednesday. Angela Lang/CNET a close up of electronics: Hackers are using coronavirus fears and anxiety to target internet users, government agencies from the UK and US said Wednesday. © Angela Lang/CNET

Hackers are using coronavirus fears and anxiety to target internet users, government agencies from the UK and US said Wednesday.

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"An increasing number of malicious cyber actors are exploiting the current COVID-19 pandemic for their own objectives," the agencies said in a joint statement.

That's not to say that hackers are hacking more. Some cybersecurity companies have said they've seen an increase in overall hacking activity, but the two agencies, as well as Microsoft, said Wednesday that levels of hacking have stayed the same. What's changed is the way hackers are targeting internet users.

"They know many are clicking without looking because stress levels are high and they're taking advantage of that," Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365 Security, said in a blog post.

Coronavirus in Spain: slight decrease in the number of deaths

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The advisory contains a list of more than 2,500 data points from coronavirus-related hacking threats. The information is meant to help people defending computer systems find signs of hackers trying to break into systems. The agencies said the list is "non-exhaustive," and noted that the pandemic is changing quickly, and so could the way hackers try to use it to their advantage.

Fraud experts have warned that for people at home now, hacking isn't the only thing to worry about. There are also scams that'll try to take people's money in exchange for information, cures or masks and other forms of protection that turn out to be bogus. Everyone is well served by taking a moment and remembering that criminals could be trying to take advantage of regular people during this disruptive world event.

The hacking threats come at a time when more people are working from home as part of stay-at-home orders meant to slow the spread of the virus. That means personal devices and systems linked to businesses both might be more vulnerable, the agencies said. In an advisory, the agencies provided resources on how individuals and companies can protect themselves from these attacks, including how to spot suspicious email attachments, phishing emails, scams and ransomware attacks.

FBI sees cybercrime reports increase fourfold during COVID-19 outbreak

  FBI sees cybercrime reports increase fourfold during COVID-19 outbreak Instances of cybercrime appear to have jumped by as much as 300 percent since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the FBI. The bureau’s Internet Crime Complain Center (IC3) said last week that it’s now receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 cybersecurity complaints every day, up from the average 1,000 complaints per day the center saw before COVID-19 took hold. While much of this jump can be attributed to America’s daily activities increasingly moving online — newly remote workers unaware of basic security measures or companies struggling to keep externally-accessed systems secure, for example — the FBI says a lot of the increased cybercrime is coming from

Our new reality as coronavirus sends the world online

The FBI accuses China of wanting to hack research on the Covid-19 vaccine .
© Dado Ruvic, Reuters A laboratory in Maryland, in the United States, tries to develop a vaccine against the Covid-19, in April 2020. US federal police warn American researchers involved in the medical response to Covid-19 against attempts to hack and steal data from China. This is yet another American accusation against China, but this time it comes from the FBI and the American agency for cybersecurity (CISA).

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