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Electronic boards show possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul Electronic boards show possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul, South Korea, May 15, 2017 (Photo by Yun Dong-jin for Yonhap via AP Images).

How Hackers Are Seizing on COVID-19 and Hampering the Global Response

Monday, May 4, 2020

Cybercriminals are notorious opportunists. Much of their trade relies on creating timely “lures” or “bait” to entice their victims to click on fake websites or download files that contain malware. For years, they’ve leveraged crises for financial gain, taking advantage of disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. For these hackers, the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered potent new material, as coronavirus-related attacks are intensifying.

Proofpoint, a California-based cybersecurity firm, told WPR in an email that it tracked 75 million coronavirus-themed malicious messages during one week in April. Amid global panic and frustration, people are more likely to click without thinking about the risks, especially when emails promise urgent new information about travel restrictions or virus cures. ...

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