The latest data on COVID-related phishing scams from security researchers at CheckPoint comes with some good news and insightful trends that may help keep you secure.
We’ve seen just about every kind of COVID-related phishing scam over the last 5 months. From maps of the virus spread, to tracing apps, to class action lawsuits, to getting a tax rebate, and more – there seemed to be no end to the creativity of these scammers who find yet another way to use COVID as the draw to get potential victims to engage with malicious email content.
According to CheckPoint, the good news is COVID-themed scams are on the decline – July saw a 50% decrease in the number of coronavirus-related attacks from the previous month. CheckPoint did find vaccine-related email scams that take advantage of the world’s race to find a vaccine.
The bad news is CheckPoint is still seeing a rise in all cyberattacks (including COVID attacks) which, according to their latest data, begin with a malicious phishing email 80% of the time. Executables, Excel documents, and Word documents are the top three attachment types found in phishing scams.
While we’re happy to see COVID-themed phishing emails go away sometime soon, there is no end in sight for the art of phishing. COVID merely played a viable long-term overarching theme for a wide range of scams. When COVID no longer gets people’s attention and engagement, cybercriminals will turn to a new angle and story that will.
It’s important to have users understand the need for vigilance when interacting with email. Security Awareness Training provides users with ongoing education, teaching them what a suspicious or malicious email looks like, what kinds of tactics and social engineering are used, and ways to avoid becoming a victim of a scam – COVID or otherwise.