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Cybersecurity alert in the age of COVID-19

Tuesday, March 24, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gillian Fattal
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As most of our members have transitioned to a Work From Home remote environment, there is important information to share with you. Somerset Systems, the NHCBA's IT consultants in Maryland, have drafted an advisory which is two-fold; first, to share what they are witnessing in regards to an increase of phishing, scams and malware incidents designed to play on our fears in these uncertain times and second, to advise people to remain vigilant and “Think Before You Click” now more than ever.  


Please see the following advisory:

COVID‐19, or the coronavirus, has taken over the news and with that has come a wave of malware and phishing scams. Attackers often tailor their scams around major news events and COVID‐19 is no different. One example is an Android app which claims to provide access to information and a real‐time map. However, the app actually contains ransomware which locks the victim out of their phone and asks for roughly $100 in bitcoin to regain access. Other examples come in the form of emails which appear to be official communications with updates about the virus or closures. These appear to come from universities, the World Health Organization or employers targeting their now‐remote workforce. Often these scams contain an embedded link which will prompt for personal information or take victims to a fake OneDrive or Office365 login page which will capture credentials entered into them. Another method used by attackers are domain names which reference COVID‐19 or the coronavirus.

It’s important to be highly skeptical of emails and websites such as these. Some of the most reliable sources for legitimate coronavirus‐related information is the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or local departments of health.

Correct CDC link:‐nCoV/index.html

Some tips to keep you safe from these scams:

  • Think before you click – If something doesn’t seem right about an email, delete it. You’re better off not taking the risk.

  • Examine the link – Before clicking on any link, hover your mouse over it. This will show the full address, which can reveal signs of fraud.

  • Don’t open suspicious attachments – They may contain malware.

  • Guard your sensitive information – Be wary of emails asking for account credentials, credit card

    numbers, or other sensitive information.

  • Updates – Keep your computer and smartphone updated to help defend against malware.

  • Use security tools – ensure antivirus is active on your machine. 

Thank you.

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