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Corona Virus and Cybercrime - What You Need to Know PDF Print E-mail

February 7, 2020 - As you probably know, there has been a massive outbreak of a new corona virus in China that has led the Chinese government to impose a quarantine that now covers some 400 million people. What you may not know is that the outbreak is now being used by scam artists to go after individuals and businesses alike. As Rahm Emanual once said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste!"

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One of the primary players in the Chinese crisis is the World Health Organization, or WHO. And there are now some very official email messages floating around with the WHO logo on them, warning recipients about the virus and things to be on the lookout for. Those messages also contain links which are problematic.

In one case that we're aware of, users are asked to click on a link and provide a variety of information including email credentials. In others, clicking on the links can install malware, Trojans or viruses on your computer. As bad as clicking on one of these links can be for an individual, it can be even worse for a computer setup on a business network. A single click could result in the complete takeover of that network.

Given the intense global interest in the Chinese outbreak, these scams are likely to spread quickly as recipients not only click on the links in the messages, but also as they forward these messages to other interested parties at home and at work.

Anyone who receives an unsolicited message from the WHO regarding the corona virus should delete it immediately. Employers should also provide instructions to their employees regarding these scams.

Anyone who is interested in more information from the WHO on the corona virus can visit their page for the subject at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

by Jim Malmberg

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