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Covid-19 phishing attacks have evolved yet again

security
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Golden Sikorka)

The tactics used by cybercriminals to leverage the Covid-19 pandemic have changed once again, according to cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, which has warned businesses and individuals alike to stay vigilant.

Since day one of the Covid-19 outbreak, cybercriminals have been taking advantage of the situation to spread malware and ransomware, to steal sensitive information from businesses and individuals, and to dispossess people of their hard-earned money.

However, their strategies and tactics have shifted constantly as the pandemic has progressed. Now, as vaccines begin to roll out across the world, they have identified a new opportunity.

Proofpoint researchers have identified a couple of new phishing campaigns that seek to establish trust with the victim, before infecting them with malware or ransomware.

In some of these emails, victims are invited to participate in the merger and acquisition of a “distressed foreign company”, in others they’re invited to register for a Covid-19 vaccine. In another instance, criminals impersonated the World Health Organization to distribute AgentTesla malware, disguised as a new report on Covid-19 and the vaccine rollout.

The attackers don’t seem to be playing the numbers game, as they’re not exactly casting a wide net with these attempts. In some cases, as few as 100 victims were targeted. Most of the targets are located in the US, Canada, Austria and Germany.