I Testified Before U.S. Congress About COVID-19 Phishing Scams

stusjouwerman-560Yesterday, July 21, 2020 I testified before U.S. congress about COVID-19 phishing scams. I was invited by the Senate Commerce Committee's subcommittee on manufacturing, trade, and consumer protection, which held a hearing Tuesday about protecting Americans from COVID-19 scams.

Twenty years after KnowBe4's Chief Hacking Officer Kevin Mitnick first testified before Congress, stating that "extensive user education and training" was needed to inoculate employees against social engineering, I had the chance to reinforce that message. Here is the letter I received.

MediaPost reported on the testimony: "Scams related to COVID-19 are proliferating online, with fraudsters becoming both “more aggressive and more targeted,” Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of security company KnowBe4, told the Senate Tuesday.

“COVID-19 phishers prey on both consumers and employees and have sought private information through targeting passport details, the healthcare industry, [and] social media channels, and we can expect to see them use current and future COVID-19 lawsuits as bait in spear phishing attacks,” he said.

in written testimony submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee's subcommittee on manufacturing, trade, and consumer protection, Sjouwerman specifically said more than 192,000 phishing attacks related to COVID-19 occurred each week in the last month.

He added that fraudsters often are revising phishing emails they ran before last December, when COVID-19 first appeared, but with new “social engineering schemes” relating to the virus. “Everyone should remain very skeptical of any email related to COVID-19 coming into their inbox,” he stated.

Here is a 6-minute clip of my testimony, introduced by Senator Moran:


It was an interesting experience! Here is a YouTube link to the full 2:16:10 video. The article is continued at MediaPost.


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