While the pandemic known as COVID-19 is causing a dramatic increase in coronavirus-themed phishing attacks, it’s strangely having the opposite effect on other phishing attacks.
When it comes to phishing attacks, hackers tend to “specialize” in a certain type of phishing attack. And as things turn out, some of these “specialists” are really feeling the pinch from COVID-19. A lot of people are struggling in this economy, and apparently some of them are bad guys.
According to an article The CyberWire, “some types of criminals are feeling economic pain. Opportunities for travel and event fraud have essentially dried up. Gangs who specialize in bank fraud are having difficulty completing their theft if it requires a physical transfer of goods or cash, as it often does. Amazon has also blocked all shipments of non-essential products to its warehouses, so cybercriminals can no longer make use of Amazon’s delivery network to ship their goods.” Poor bad guys.
While monitoring conversations on cybercriminal forums, researchers at Digital Shadows uncovered a “user who maintains a long-standing thread offering fraudulent tickets for same-day events posted an update stating that ‘everything is closed for 2 weeks’ as a result of the cancellation of events across the globe.” Another user stated “that their usual drop worker can’t work because banks in their unspecified location are closed. This likely refers to the individuals employed to visit banks to withdraw money from fraudulently acquired accounts, allowing cybercriminals to cash out their illicitly earned funds.”
While it may be true that some forms of phishing attacks are currently on hiatus, the slack has been more than taken up by the COVID-19 phishing attacks. Eventually, the pandemic-based phishing attacks will go away as the virus itself subsides. All that means is that the old ones will be back in full force.
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