Microsoft Security Intelligence reports about coronavirus (COVID-19) misinformation being spread
Coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is also known, is playing havoc with the world. Worldwide there are over 1.5 million cases and just under 100,000 deaths to date. Although measures are in place, it's going to be a rough ride for some time to come.
Not helping is the disinformation that is being used to scam the people who have the virus or are afraid of it. Most are existing scams repurposed for a new fear.
Our threat intelligence shows that COVID-19-themed threats are retreads of existing attacks slightly altered to tie to the pandemic. We’re seeing a changing of lures, not a surge in attacks. We’re actively monitoring & responding to this shift in focus.
In a blog post, the Redmond company wrote "Our inboxes, mobile alerts, TVs, and news updates are all COVID-19, all the time. It’s overwhelming and attackers know it. They know many are clicking without looking because stress levels are high and they’re taking advantage of that. That’s why we’re seeing an increase in the success of phishing and social engineering attacks. Attackers don’t suddenly have more resources they’re diverting towards tricking users; instead they’re pivoting their existing infrastructure, like ransomware, phishing, and other malware delivery tools, to include COVID-19 keywords that get us to click. Once we click, they can infiltrate our inboxes, steal our credentials, share more malicious links with coworkers across collaboration tools, and lie in wait to steal information that will give them the biggest payout."
Things are bad enough without worrying about this type of threat as well. It would be nice if the bad guys had the decency to leave us alone during a crisis. But alas, that won’t happen.
Perhaps the most dire warning comes from New York governor Andrew Cuomo in this tweet:
The 1918 Spanish flu hit in 3 waves. We are only in the first wave. We can’t assume that because we are seeing some positive signs this will be over soon or that additional waves won’t hit. NYS will not underestimate this enemy.