2 Percent Of Daily Malware Activity Is Based On CoronaVirus Theme: Microsoft

Lately, a lot of publishers have come out with the claims that cybercriminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by either spreading the malware or fooling users into making them give their personal information.

But fortunately, not all is true as Microsoft has cleared the air by stating the company hasn’t seen any increase in the malware activities in the times of COVID-19 crisis.

According to Microsoft, they scan millions of emails as per their practice and with the latest data already out, only 60,000 emails revolving around COVID-19 had malicious attachments or URLs - which in total has come out to be only 2% of the total malicious email traffic.

Furthermore, with regard to the concerns, Rob Lefferts (Corporate Vice President, Microsoft 365 Security) has also identified that cyber-criminals have adopted a new strategy that includes changed email templates and subjects. They have typically shifted from invoice themed lures to coronavirus protection based emails.

However, the dangerous part is that the impersonated emails mention the names of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Health with ease.

With the current trend in place, hackers are going for every single user out there. In fact, they are even coming out more strongly with state-sponsored groups, along with day-to-day gangs like Emotet and Trickbot. If the predictions made turn out to be right then every country already has or will see at least one COVID-19 themed attack.

Good News: SmartScreen Can Block 18,000 COVID-19 Based URL Every Day

With all being said, Microsoft has still got you covered not only with active prevention against COVID-19-themed attacks at the inbox level but the company has also put SmartScreen technology in place just to detect users when they navigate to COVID-19 related domains (It’s still limited to the Edge browser though).

Hence as a result, for a single day, the SmartScreen has the potential to see and process around 18,000 COVID-19-themed URLs and IP addresses. This technology has also helped in how crooks are diverging traffic to coronavirus-themed scams and sites, both with a number of methods that go beyond emails only. A phishing email, therefore, only works as an entry point for attackers.

You can also expect to see the malicious activity going around in the name of COVID-19 in the form of ads, links available on public forums and social networks, or SMS and IM (instant messaging) spam as well.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

The answer to this given by Microsoft is simple as the company is urging its users to remain vigilant and follow the basic security practices that they are already well aware of, including an antivirus software and multi-factor authentication for accounts that are present online.

2 Percent Of Daily Malware Activity Is Based On CoronaVirus Theme: Microsoft

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