Hackers attempt to use coronavirus emails to launch attacks

Cyber security at stake over Coronavirus. Image|Co

Even as coronavirus continues to spread across the world, with nations calling for shut down of institutions, cyber security could be at stake as hackers attempt to use COVID-19 message to distribute malicious messages.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday called on employers to find ways of securely supporting employees working from home.

However, these seems to be challenging, especially in sectors like critical infrastructure and government defense, proving it unsafe for workers to work at home.

Reports across the world show that some government-sponsored hackers have been sending malicious attachment to COVID-19 mails, targeting to attack other governments.

Also read: A discussion about guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wired news reports that a Chinese firm QiAnXin spotted Russian hackers—possibly affiliated with the groups Sandworm and Fancy Bear—sending phishing emails laced with malicious document attachments to Ukrainian targets.

The emails, which claimed to come from Ukraine's Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health, came amidst a larger disinformation campaign that stoked fear about the spread of Covid-19 in Ukraine and resulted in riots.

An attempt was also spotted in Vietnam, where Vietnamese security firm VinCSS detected a high volume of novel coronavirus-related phishing emails attributed to government hackers, with a malicious attachment that purports to contain information about Covid-19 from the Vietnamese prime minister.

Another campaign attributed to Chinese actors by researchers at Check Point targeted victims in Mongolia.

North Korean hackers were also spotted targeting South Korea with phishing attacks at the end of February. The campaigns seemed to target government officials with malware-tainted documents.

The Kenyan government should be wary of these and caution its security department and the business community against such attempts.

To avoid such attacks, always ensure that you are certain of the source of the mail that you have received, before clicking.

See also: Kenyans faults government for allowing in flights from China

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