Coronavirus is sweeping the world by storm and its impact is being felt by everyone. It is even reaching out to affect cybersecurity, as it is allowing hackers and spammers to grow and thrive. Pandemic-related traps are being used to spread malware, while Coronavirus phishing scams began well back in January.

With so many people currently social distancing and self-quarantining, it naturally follows that

Internet use is at an all-time high.

With people not only using it for recreation but also working from home. Sadly, many times a global emergency is seen as an opportunity to take advantage, and it appears that the coronavirus outbreak is no exception, with cyberattacks popping up everywhere.

Brno University Hospital, a Covid-19 testing hub in Czech Republic, was a victim of a ransomware attack. Hackers gamble on the fact that administrators will pay the ransom because of the pressing need to access their data. The attack resulted in surgical delays and an overall disruption of operations, which they have still yet to recover from.

Hackers find it attractive to target those working from home, since home networks have lower and fewer security defenses, such as the lack of firewalls, anomaly detection, etc, as compared to office networks. With phishing schemes and scam websites abounding the web, it is more likely for internet users to fall for them when consumed by panic and stress. In addition, it could be harder to fact check phishing emails with other employees due to the remote work environment.

Lookout, a mobile security firm, reported that an Android application that posed as a coronavirus monitoring app contained spyware. It was found that it was linked to a surveillance operation against mobile users in Libya. This scenario highlights that our need to search for information and news may backfire and could be used against us maliciously.

With cyberattacks lurking at every corner, online users need to be especially vigilant and ensure that their internet protection is up-to-date and active. Being aware and staying alert to detect malicious phishing schemes is essential as well. In addition, take extra precautions and find the best way to communicate with superiors and co-workers to avoid data leaks and information being sent to the wrong sources.

As things progress it is hoped that cybersecurity will remain one of the top concerns and every effort will be taken to maintain internet users’ security. Both personally, business and medical use, and for the government as well.