Sitting Ducks: Don’t Let Remote Work Make Your Business An Easy Target

It really is a dream for cybercriminals. As the world fights back against the growing coronavirus pandemic, hackers and scammers are salivating. Tens of millions of people accessing secure company data on their personal devices or vulnerable home Wi-Fi networks — what could be more enticing for an internet crook?

The question isn’t whether or not your company is a target — we all are. The question is: what are you going to do about it? You can either put your life’s work at risk or protect yourself and your business.

Identifying and defending against these inevitable traps and attacks can seem difficult. But we’re here to help. Here are some of the recent coronavirus-related scams and viruses and how to defend against them. We’ve added some general tips and advice as well because you can never be too careful these days.

  1. Coronavirus or Covid-19 themed phishing scams. They have been circulating around the world — usually as an email or message that includes a malicious link or attachment.
    Defense strategy: Don’t click links or open attachments from any source you don’t trust. Even if you do trust it, hover over the link to see the URL and try to notice any irregularities. To be safe, verify whatever claim the email or message makes through Google or official websites.
  2. Fake coronavirus map. The site offers real-time tracking of worldwide cases using data from the reputable Johns Hopkins University. Unfortunately, it also contains the malicious code AZORult. The malware — contained in a file called corona.exe — can uncover and gather personal information for malicious uses.
    Defense strategy: Only use trusted sources and URLs like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or other official government bodies. You can find more help and steps for AZORult removal here.
  3. Office 365 phishing scam. Posing as university health teams, these scammers use email to trick potential prey into re-logging into their Office 365 account. Then they use the stolen credentials to commit cybercrimes. Defense strategy: Always keep your wits about you when reading emails or being asked to log in online. Hover over links to reveal where you’ll be sent, verify URLs and email addresses, and fact-check important announcements or claims. You can check such statements with other people or look them up online.
  4. CovidLock ransomware app. The Android app available at coronvirusapp[.]site also claims to provide real-time maps and virus monitoring. However, it will force-change your password to lock your device and then demand bitcoin payment to unlock it.
    Defense strategy: Echoing our message from the first scam, only use trusted sources. You can find more help and steps for CovidLock removal here.

A good rule is to treat the digital world like you would the characters in Times Square. That giant, cigarette-smoking Elmo seems innocent enough to take a picture with, but would you give them your computer password? So, to protect yourself and your business:

  • Only use trusted sources
  • Hover over links to reveal URLs
  • Confirm before you click
  • Use premium antivirus/antimalware software
  • Think twice before making choices online

We’re living in growingly uncertain times. Make sure your online security isn’t part of that uncertainty. Stay safe, everyone.

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