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State-backed hackers 'taking advantage' of outbreak

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike)

Both British and American cybersecurity officials have confirmed what private experts have been saying for weeks now: both state-backed hackers and various criminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to sow malware.

According to a Reuters report, a joint advisory was published earlier this week, which explains that while the overall volume of cyberattacks hasn't increased since the start of the year, a consistent theme has emerged.

The majority of attacks today see cybercriminals luring victims into clicking links and downloading attachments using false information surrounding the the coronavirus pandemic.

“Bad actors are using these difficult times to exploit and take advantage of the public and business,” said Bryan Ware, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at US agency CISA.

Remote working has also seen unprecedented growth – another area of interest for criminals, who are distributing malware and ransomware under the guise of new collaboration and communication software.

Employees are advised to exercise particular caution when downloading files at home under quarantine, especially if the content purports to relate to the coronavirus pandemic.