Never underestimate people’s ability to take advantage of a crisis, including the current coronavirus as cyber-criminals have been quick to take advantage of the understandable levels of fear. This morning NortonLifeLock (NLOK) sent an email to its clients warning about a phishing email going around that uses the logo of the CDC Health Alert Network claiming to provide a list of local active infections. Recipients are asked to click a link where they are then to enter email login credentials, which are then stolen.
Also this morning, the European Central Bank warned banks that there may be a jump in cyber attacks as hackers look to exploit virus-related chaos.
The watchdog urged banks in a letter this week to test the capacity of their technology systems “also in light of a potential increase of cyber-attacks and potential higher reliance on remote banking services.”
The outbreak has prompted lenders to ask more employees to work from home or spread them across different offices, while more clients may choose online banking over going to branches. While banks have improved defenses against hackers in recent years, the ECB has called cybercrime and technology deficiencies some of the top risks for the industry this year.
The ECB letter is part of efforts to ensure banks can keep functioning in case they’re directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak that’s rippling through the global economy.
These warnings follow a recently published blog post by Fortinet (FTNT) on how it has seen a significant increase in malicious activity surrounding the coronavirus. In the post, the company shared it has found reports appearing from “trusted sources, such as governmental agencies, news outlets, etc. that were actually malicious.” Fortinet goes on to point out the World Health Organization (WHO) is contending with malicious activity as “criminals are disguising themselves as WHO to steal money or sensitive information.”
We suspect in the coming months we are likely to see a spike in companies reporting cyber attacks and data privacy violations, which will not only shortcomings but also spur demand for companies found in theOur advice is to wash your hands frequently and be wary of what you click on and where you click. It’s a viral world.
Disclosure: NortonLifeLock (NLOK) and Fortinet (FTNT) are constituents in the