Coronavirus Leads to Sharp Rise in Phishing Attacks

The number of phishing attack sites on the internet has reportedly risen to 350% of their level in January. “I believe hackers have identified the coronavirus as something about which users are desperate to find information,” said Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN

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A report by tech company Atlas VPN indicates that the number of cyber attacks around the world has multiplied several times over in the time since the outbreak of the coronavirus. This increase includes over 300,000 new sites created in March alone which have keywords related to the virus.

The number of malicious sites had risen from about 149,000 in January to about 522,000 in March – a rise of over 250%. Figures gathered by the company RiskIQ show that between March 9 and March 23 show the creation of 317,000 new websites with keywords related to the virus. ZDNet performed a random check of websites from this group, and found that about 90% were either malicious or were attempting to sell nutritional supplements.

“I believe that hackers identified coronavirus as something users are desperate to find information on,” Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN said in a statement. Welch added that “Panic leads to irrational thinking, and people forget the basics of cybersecurity. Users then download malicious files or try to purchase in-demand items from unsafe websites, in result becoming victims of scams.”

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