Hackers, including cyber-criminals and state-sponsored threat actors around the globe, may be taking advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak to accelerate their activities and spread their own infections. This warning comes from CyberProof Inc, a UST Global company, which sees new cyber security threats amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The count of cyber security scams has risen during the coronavirus period. The main cause of these new scams is probably because many hackers are shut inside their homes due to the coronavirus regulations, and being bored, they are looking for new ways to spread malware, siphon sensitive information, and hold critical systems hostage.

Raised number of attacks

Insights shared by CyberProof have led to reporting of a significantly higher increase in the number of cyber attacks. Tony Velleca, Chief Executive Officer, CyberProof and CISO, UST Global, said that to help customers during these unprecedented times, CyberProof and UST Global have partnered with Cato Networks to offer 95 per cent of customers a work from home (WFH) solution to reduce the security risks to large-scale remote working.

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The solution creates a globally available VPN solution that allows organisations to extend their security policy to the WFH workforce and optimise network performance. Yuval Wollman, President, CyberProof, says that hackers have underground networks for communicating among themselves and sharing resources for a cyber attack. Actively tracking this activity, CyberProof witnessed these forums complain about being stuck at home because of the coronavirus, leading to a greater amount of frustration and malicious activity.

Threat actor at play

CyberProof has uncovered a new coronavirus phishing attack: investigations into cybercrime hacking communities exposed a threat actor offering a phishing method that infects victims with malware by sharing an online map of coronavirus-infected areas as a disguise. According to the threat actor, the given pre-loader has a file extension that can be sent as an attachment directly by/to any mail service, and it works on all Windows versions.

“As threat hunters, we have become increasingly aware of the greater need for diligence and awareness regarding the latest cyber security threat ― hackers taking advantage of new vulnerabilities during this difficult time,” says Wollman. “In crisis situations, the underground community springs into action ― and we need to do the same. To protect your organisation, make sure employees are keeping their guard up and following best practices for cyber security,” he added.