With people worried about pandemic, more than 18 million phishing attempts themed COVID-19 has been blocked already on Gmail

According to Google, there’s a scanner built within the Gmail free email service app and this malware scanner blocked more than 18 million phishing malware emails with content related to COVID-19 and all within a week.

Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing emails within a day and according to Neil Kumaran (Product Manager, Gmail Security) and Sam Lugani (Lead Security PMM, G Suite & GCP platform), last week they saw around 18 million malware with content related to COVID-19 and these phishing attempts are an addition to the more than 240 million spam messages with content related to COVID-19.

According to a blog post published on Google Cloud blog, the Gmail machine learning models are now way more advanced in terms of detection of phishing attacks, around 99.9% spam sent to Gmail users is usually blocked by these scanners.

The COVID-19 outbreak is worrying each and every person with the lockdown and so many restrictions people are literally losing their minds and attackers are availing this opportunity by luring users with the bait of COVID-19 using all attempts including financial and fear-inducing attempts to make the users respond.

Google explained that, Gmail blocked the following types of phishing attempts related to COVID-19:
  • Attackers faking the identity of organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to get some donations from the users or to spread the malware.
  • A phishing attempt discovered by Google revealed the attackers' method to capitalize on the packages of government and to phish small businesses.
According to Google, these phishing attempts are same old methods like always but the attackers updated it a bit to content related to COVID-19 so that they can exploit the attention of COVID-19 and the tech company is now putting various proactive monitoring in place for malware related to COVID-19 phishing attempts across all the systems and as soon as the firm detects any threat it simply ads it to Safe Browsing API which protects the users of Chrome, Gmail and all related products.

This Safe Browsing helps to protect more than four billion devices on daily basis and all by simply displaying a warning to users when they proceed to any dangerous sites or attempt to download any dangerous files.

On the other hand Microsoft revealed that the number of attacks related to Coronavirus theme hasn’t increased since early 2020 but instead, the attackers are simply restructuring their infrastructures used in other attacks and re-themed the attacks to lure people with the fear of COVID-19 outbreak.

The admins of G Suite can now implement a variety of Google-recommended defenses in order to have more advanced protection against phishing attempts and can also enable security sandbox in the G Suite Enterprise for the more protected education environment.

The users of G Suite can also have a variety of advanced controls against COVID-19 themed phishing attacks which includes a complete Security Checkup and to be safe, the users should avoid the downloading of any external files. To secure your account from phishing attempts, the users should check the integrity of URLs before logging with any of their credential details and also avoid any phishing emails.

The business G Suite, Google’s cloud computing and various collaboration tools related to business all come with somewhat advanced malware controls against phishing attacks and these malware controls are enabled by default to help improve the security of the users.

With people worried about pandemic, more than 18 million phishing attempts themed COVID-19 has been blocked already on Gmail

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