There has been a recent spike in data privacy scams and data frauds linked to the Coronavirus. This new development has been the worst that security experts have seen in decades. In alarming news reports from around the world, hackers are now targeting companies and individuals within the aeronautical, transport, logistics, manufacturing, insurance, healthcare, and hospitality markets.

A wide range of data fraud instances have been found across the world, and there is a greater call for action against such data breach incidents.

Cybersecurity firms are noticing strange emails sent out to their customers and people at large that are purportedly from doctors claiming to have cures for the virus. Unsuspecting individuals who click on a link or who open the attached document are then taken to spoof webpages designed to harvest login credentials. Researchers claim that up to 300,000 of such emails are sent at a time to rob people of their financial data and money.


Using fear to convince victims to click on a link or open an attachment has seen a tremendous rise in the malicious coronavirus email campaigns leading to hacking, according to various research and detection teams from around the world. Experts advise recipients to hold their mouse cursor over the webpage to reveal its correct web address.

If you think it is suspicious in any way then it is highly recommended not to click on it. Ideally, it is recommended that you do not entertain any such emails even though they might appear genuine. Any emails or suggestions that call you to fill in details or request you enter your banking or financial information is generally suspect and should be avoided at all costs.

Another set of researchers at cybersecurity firms revealed a new scam where individuals were asked to click on a particular email that could help them access the funds from the UK government. This email that appears to be original takes unsuspecting users to fake government pages encouraging them to add in their financial and tax information on the page. Researchers strongly advise individuals not to respond to any form of electronic communication with regards to financial information via email.

They also suggest that any links in related messages must not be clicked. As a taxpayer, you would know that a potential tax refund does not follow such methods. And before attempting to fill in your details on such dubious websites, it is strongly recommended to reach out to the customer service department from the company of the email you received to understand whether they actually sent it.

Another recent development shows how cybercriminals are now representing the World Health Organization and sending out fraud emails with attached documents to recipients regarding the containment of the disease. Unfortunately, researchers have seen that the attachment does not contain any useful advice, and instead, it aims to infect computers with malicious software and viruses.

This malware then records every keystroke of the recipient and sends it back to the attackers to help cyber criminals monitor their victim’s actions online. To avoid falling victim to the scam, cybersecurity experts warn people to be wary of any emails coming from the World Health Organization, as they are likely to be fake. Instead, experts suggest to visit the official website or go through social media channels to find out about their latest advice.

Another new tactic to spread fear are emails that look like they are being sent from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By replicating one of the organization’s legitimate email IDs, these spoof emails have been defrauding unsuspecting recipients of their data. When this scam was first discovered, cyber defense providers described it as an example of the cybercriminals using fear and panic as a weapon.

The link in these spoof emails directs recipients to fake Microsoft login pages, where they are persuaded to enter their login credentials. The next step is where the victims are directed to the actual CDC advice page that makes the entire experience authentic and genuine. However, unfortunately, by this time, the cybercriminals have already gotten control of the victim’s login details and other relevant information. This blend of excellent fabrication and a high-stress environment makes it a potent trap and one that can be extremely difficult for even the discerning eye to suspect.

Malware experts, Kaspersky reveal how fake CDC emails are now asking for donations to develop a vaccine towards Coronavirus. These emails request recipients to make payments in the bitcoin cryptocurrency. Although the providers of such emails are ludicrous, the approach towards presenting the email with authentic signatures, email IDs, and content makes it convincing to a reader. These numbers are likely to grow as the virus spreads and panic grips people.

If you have saved your financial information and other relevant data in PDF or Word document files, then now is a good time to consider using digital rights management (DRM) for document protection. Safeguarding your important and confidential documents with the help of DRM can ensure that your information is safe from prying eyes and cybercriminals.

By using DRM you can restrict access to sensitive information (this is done through encryption),  and apply rules on how your documents can be used – for example who can view, modify, print, copy, forward or save them, what locations they can be opened from, and on what devices. These DRM restrictions become part of your protected documents and will remain enforced regardless of where the documents are stored or who they are sent to.  Overall, DRM is a great tool in helping to prevent unauthorized access and use of your documents.

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