A viral target: Cyberattacks on COVID-19

  • Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 8:45 am
Paul Beckman, Chief Information Security Officer

Paul Beckman,
Chief Information Security Officer

With peaked interest surrounding the coronavirus vaccine, cybercriminals are determined to exploit our feelings or anticipation in the form of social engineering. Reports have shown cyber threat actors baiting potential victims with vaccine-themed scams.

Examples of these scams include phishing emails holding varying subject lines that may reference surveys, information about vaccine coverage, locations to receive the vaccine, ways to reserve a vaccine, and vaccine requirements. Additionally, malicious links or attachments included in these phishing campaigns may impersonate familiar and trusted entities or brands.

You are the first line of defense in protecting your digital resources. In building your guard, it is important to be vigilant of the signs of cyber threats, keep a questioning attitude, and remain aware of protective criteria.

  • Never open an email or hyperlink from an unknown sender.
  • Be wary of unknown phone calls or robocalls that claim you have a problem, request financial information, or offer help. Most companies do not call users to notify you of a problem or to verify your financial data.
  • If you’ve received a hyperlink that seems suspicious, hover your mouse over the link to view the link’s web address and verify that it isn’t directing you to a different or unknown website.
  • Avoid clicking on pop-up messages or hyperlinks out of curiosity involving controversial topics. Hackers take advantage of people’s emotional decisions and often use curiosity as a tactic.