Phishing In The Face Of Covid-19 Discussion
Running Head: Phishing in the Face of Covid-19 1
Phishing in the Face of Covid-19 1
Phishing in the face of Covid-19
Name of the Student
“Phishing has become an increasing threat in online space, largely driven by the evolving mobile, web, and social networking technologies” (Aleroud, A., & Zhou, L. (2017). Attackers will always take advantage of people’s uncertain times, and this equally happens with cyber attackers. When their potential target is undergoing troubled times, attackers can take advantage of such scenarios to victimize their subjects more easily. In the face of Covid-19, cyber attackers have been taking advantage of this global pandemic to victimize as most people as they can. Different people are taking advantage of this pandemic, and they pretend to offer different services in regard to Covid-19. Therefore, there is need to curb these phishing activities, to protect unsuspecting technology users from falling prey to the phishers’ traps.
The task Force at Virginia identified some of these online frauds related to Covid-19 as treatment scams; scammers who pretend to have a cure for Coronavirus and lie to people that they have the capacity to manage their Covid-19 status if they are tested position of the virus; Supply scammers; people who lie to people that they have shopped from where one can get supplied with necessary medication for Coronavirus, also using fake websites that are used to fool members of the public who are suspicious of the pandemic; and charity scammers; are scammers who use the internet to fool people into charity donations. They take advantage of people’s innocence to make a living from their donation (“COVID-19 Fraud”, 2020).
The concept and term of phishing can be trace back to the 1990s through America Online. The Warez community, who were a group of pirates and hackers, are considered to be the very first phishers (Chandra, P. (2016, May). In their early scam, they developed an algorithm allowing them to generate random credit card numbers. They then attempted to use the cards to create phony America Online accounts (Grobler, M. M. (2010). They targeted only a few people to fall into their trap. They then moved on to messaging people via America Online messenger. As people became savvy about scamming through messengers, the phishers moved on to email messages. In September 2003, phishers started registering similar domains to popular firms, such as ebay-fulfilment.com, to fool people into thinking they were legitimate. In October 2003, Paypal users suffered the Mimail virus; on clicking a link in a phishing email, there was a popup message purporting to have been sent by Paypal instructing them to input their login details (Hinde, S. (2004). Today, phishers have diversified their methods with sophistication of technology. With people increasing technology usage during the period of Covid-19 due to staying and working from home, phishers are more active than ever.
Phishing has been identified as the most used cyber-attack technique in the face of Coronavirus. Phishing attackers have significantly increased, and those who fall into these traps have increased considerably too. Across the world, the new phishing cases have increased by more than 600% since the pandemic started spreading on a global basis. This implies that people have been more vulnerable and more curious such that getting fooled and their devices compromised through phishing has becomes very easy. By the time the pandemic will be over, very many people will have suffered in the hands of phishing attackers (“COVID-19 related phishing attacks grew by 600% worldwide”, 2020). To fool their potential victims, phishing attackers have been using catchy and fooling messages which can convince a potential victim easily. Some subjects used by phishing attackers include but not limited to; you need to change your password immediately, access coronavirus reports, you have been identified to have come in contact with a person with Coronavirus, among others. Attackers have been very strategic and specific on the kind of subjects that they use on the individual, and for firms, the nature of subjects used is more official.
However, people have the chance to protect themselves from being victimized by these attackers. Since phishing is majorly executed through email platforms, people need to be conversant with a different form which these attacks could take. Some of these forms are CDC alerts, advice on health issues, extortion emails, charity emails, among others. People should be on the lookout for very deceptive emails or very irregular emails which they are not used to. This could be possible causes of an attack in the background of such an email. Furthermore, people should be sensitive to suspicious calls and text messages. This is because other phishing scams are done through calls or text messages. Peoples should also be on the lookout of some ads because some of them are phishing attacks. People should seek for more training to get equipped with more knowledge on how to avoid being victimized (“CORONAVIRUS: Detect and PROTECT Yourself AGAINST COVID-19 Phishing Emails & SCAMS – UPDATED – Drexel University Information Technology”, 2020).
Phishing is quickly becoming more potent during this period. This is due to the increased activities of technology usage caused by the Covid-19 crisis. The topic of study has been introduced, followed by statement of the goal of the study.
Aleroud, A., & Zhou, L. (2017). Phishing environments, techniques, and countermeasures: A survey. Computers & Security, 68, 160-196.
Chandra, P. (2016, May). Order in the warez scene: explaining an underground virtual community with the CPR framework. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 372-383).
CORONAVIRUS: Detect and PROTECT Yourself AGAINST COVID-19 Phishing Emails & SCAMS – UPDATED – Drexel University Information Technology. (2020). Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://drexel.edu/it/news/news/coronavirus/
COVID-19 Fraud. (2020). Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdva/covid-19-fraud
COVID-19 related phishing attacks grew by 600% worldwide. (2020). Retrieved 9 August 2020, from https://www.teiss.co.uk/covid-19-related-phishing-attacks-grew-by-600-worldwide/.
Grobler, M. M. (2010). Phishing for fortune.
Hinde, S. (2004). All you need to be a phisherman is patience and a worm. Computer Fraud & Security, 2004(3), 4-6.