Welcome to the Markets and Economic Update, provided by the Hancock Whitney Asset Management team as an informational resource for clients and individuals who are interested in hearing our perspectives on current economic issues.
According to The Verge, a technology news website, Google reports that it saw more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 scams just in the past week. That’s on top of the more than 240 million daily spam messages it sees related to the coronavirus, the company says. The cyber crooks are adjusting their tactics to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic, economic stimulus and organizations associated with the current crisis like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Crooks are impersonating WHO & CDC
"Attackers don't suddenly have more resources they're diverting towards tricking users; instead they're pivoting their existing infrastructure, like ransomware, phishing, and other malware delivery tools, to include COVID-19 keywords that get us to click," said Rob Lefferts, vice president of Microsoft 365 Security, in a blog post. Many attackers have been repurposing their existing efforts to try to take advantage of COVID-19 for the simple reason that people are scared – and fear leads to less cyber-awareness and more mistakes.
Continue to Focus on Your Payment Procedures
With the upheaval in business processes and locations, many employees are not focused on cybersecurity. Unfortunately, the fraudsters know the security level has likely declined. Please remember not to approve any types of payments or changes in payment instructions from an email without independent validation.
Treasury Services offers you cybersecurity tips with our Five Red Flags of Wire Fraud reminding you how to spot a wire fraud attempt. You can also access our complete cybersecurity information library here.
Source: “UK and US Security Agencies Sound COVID-19 Threat Alert”, Bank Info Security Blog, April 9, 2020