Dark Web scams seek to cash in on COVID-19

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With cybercriminals ever keen to exploit the latest trends to their advantage, it should come as no surprise that the latest research from Trustwave SpiderLabs shows a raft of Dark Web activity based around COVID-19.

Scams range from adverts for supposed vaccines to malicious infection maps. But there's also evidence that Dark Web activities are being hit by the pandemic in much the same way as legitimate businesses.

Sellers of illegal substances have been forced to suspend or modify their operations for example. The Trustwave team notes, "Some underground shops have been forced to temporarily suspend their services, and members of the underground seem to express care and concern for the customers, some of whom belong to vulnerable groups due to dependency on various substances."

Money laundering services are suffering from changes on trading platforms and a reduction in the circulation of goods worldwide. There's also evidence that stores selling stolen card details are being starved of fresh data.

Phishing scams are being tailored to exploit the mass cancellation of flights and vacations with documents tailored to look like official updates from sites like Airbnb.

The report's authors conclude, "Beyond the usual advice of paying attention to suspicious emails, attachments, and URLs, it's important that we remember to look at information posted online with a critical eye. Look for updates provided through official sources, visit websites directly to find what their services are doing in regards to COVID-19, and, as we often repeat: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is."

You can read more on the Trustwave blog.

Image credit: rimom / Shutterstock

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