As the economy and lives of people worldwide is affected severely, the cyber-crimes shows a surge in first three months of 2020.

Coronavirus Campaigns Causes Surge In Malware Threats

In the latest quarterly Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques (CTNT) report, the experts indicated that there had been a surge in malware attacks in the past three months. They have one common ground that all of them are using corona virus as a lure.

A report by Malwarebytes “Cybercrime tactics and techniques: Attack on home base” covers the recent malware threats like info-stealers, botnets and Trojans that marked the surge. As well as the suggest that the unsuspecting victims are falling for the attacks more often.

What Report Says about Coronavirus Campaigns Causes Surge In Malware Threats

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, now the world is much different at the end of the quarter.

Now “Work From Home” is the new normal life of millions of people around the world.

While people are trying to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of CoronaVirus, this crisis has brought an unprecedented opportunity for cyber-criminals.

Reasonably, the employees have access to their company resources via cloud-based services and VPNs. They are spending countless hours on communication tools to stay connected with the team members. To ensure a flawless flow of information among the team, everyone is trying to stay connected as much as possible.

Thus, the cyber-criminals are taking advantage of this, to deploy campaigns that trick used to install malware on their machines. These malicious programs are capable of stealing personal information and login credentials. Also, such programs provide remote access of the victims to the attacker.

Read: Top Malware Threats (April 2020). Why You Should Know This.

Further, the CTNT report captures the actual models that threat actors are using to trick unsuspecting victims. They have found email impersonating as one from UNICEF. In other forms of phishing attack, some of the emails provided information about the proper way to use a face mask. Interestingly, attackers also impersonates as global Coronavirus trackers from John Hopkins University.

As a report by Malwarebytes, who were following these attack methods for months. They found that the attacks are preying on the desire to offer support during the pandemic. During the investigation, they found another cyber-crime activity from a “Pakistani state-sponsored” threat actor. They were spreading a remote access Trojan through a spear phishing campaign with the theme of Covid-19.

Also, the team found countless campaigns impersonating snake-oil pitches with a variety of key-loggers, data-stealers and ransomware.

Key Takeaways Of The Report

  • The experts found out that cyber criminals are delivering years-old malware. After re-branding it with new campaigns to prey on the fear, uncertainty, and confusion during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The team discovered that the backdoor malware NetWiredRC that stayed dormant for around five months in 2019 had emerged again at the beginning of 2020. By March, the detection increase by at least 200 percent.
  • Between January and February, many malware activities that were analyzed were found to be a precursor to the increased detection activity during February and March.
  • Malware AveMaria’s detection increased by almost 110 percent during February and March. It is a dangerous remote access Trojan that can provide access to computers and webcam to the attackers. It also can steal passwords.
  • Malware DanaBot’s detection increased by more than 160 percent between February and March. It is an invasive Trojan that steals credentials for online banking accounts.
  • While, the phishing campaigns, the most popular attack method. The cyber-criminals got creative with fraudulent websites to ensure the malware is hidden behind the walls.
  • Credit card skimming activity increased by 26 percent during March that puts home shoppers at risk.

What should you do Stay Safe?

  • For organizations, it is important to inform the employees about possible threats.
  • Do not open any mail or attachment from an unknown mail ID or number.
  • Do not click on any link that is originated from an unknown source. Avoid clicking on shortened URLs from unknown sources. 
  • Always make sure that your antivirus or anti spyware program is up to date.
  • Use Password Mangers to keep your passwords secure.

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