9,100 covid-themed attacks by cyber crooks witnessed in India: Microsoft

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 14, 2020, 11.45 AM(IST)

Image for representation. Photograph:( Reuters )

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According to her, these cybercriminals were taking full advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to target employees with malicious malware. 

Microsoft Executive has said that many cybercrooks have been using coronavirus to make ransomware attacks on people. Between February 2 and May 2 over 9,000 coronavirus-themed attacks were recorded.  

Also read: India makes second-most user data requests to Facebook: reports

Microsoft Corp Corporate Vice President (Cybersecurity Solutions Group) Ann Johnson told reporters: "Between February 2 and May 2, we saw 9,100 total file encounters related to COVID-19 or coronavirus.

It means our detection tools saw malware or URL or an attachment or a phishing email that was using COVID-19 as a lure to get somebody to download malware to the system or potentially to give up their credentials via a phishing attack."

Around 19 million of such attacks were noticed in Asia. India was among the less-affected ones as it had good controls in place. She said: "India was one of the lower countries or the only country that was lower (among) those we track was Australia so. So, India had some pretty good controls in place."

According to her, these cybercriminals were taking full advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to target employees with malicious malware. 

"That is exacerbated by the fact that workforces are now largely remote and under a lot of stress. They may not have been equipped in their homes to work remotely...we do believe that technology needs to help our employees, customers, employees and IT professionals to navigate this crisis...We're seeing a lot of different pockets of attacks," she said.

Some of these attacks will claim things if a person clicks on the URL which stats that they will be the first of 1,000 people to get the newest coronavirus vaccine. These crooks can even monetise these attacks. 

"So, there's this sense of urgency that the bad actors tried to drive to because they don't want the employees to have the opportunity to go ask a colleague. They know people are working from home potentially, so they can't just walk to the next cubicle or walk down the hall, they may have to phone somebody or e-mail them, and they give this urgency around these phishing attacks that the person must respond right away," she said.

According to Johnson, these attacks target health organisations, governments and critical infrastructure. 

(With Inputs from PTI)

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