A report by Palo Alto Networks monitored that the month of April of the year 2020 witnessed the spread of a huge wave of fraudulent attacks that are hiding under the slogans of combating “Covid-19”, and that was launched at the beginning of February of the year 2020.
By March 2021, a year after the World Health Organization’s famous announcement of the spread of the “Covid-19” pandemic, the trends of fraudulent attacks that were monitored throughout the past year were reviewed, seeking a deeper and more detailed view on various topics related to the virus. “Covid”, which the attackers try to hide behind.
A group of fraudulent URL links was monitored and recorded globally during the period between January of 2020 and February of 2021, when a base of specific key words (or phrases) was created, which are strong indicators of the relevance of any topic. With the “Covid” virus.
Keyword matching was also performed to find out about fraudulent URLs related to this topic. (To confirm that the matching URLs were indeed directly associated with “Covid”, the referenced URLs were repeatedly verified.)
Lucas Hu, a data scientist, said: “The results showed that along the path and stages of the attacks, the attackers continued to change their plans in line with the latest trends of the epidemic, in the hope that the urgency and urgency factor presented at the appropriate time would pressure the victims to push them to abandon data. Adopt them. ”
Palo Alto Networks also found that the fraudulent attacks, launched during March 2020, revolved mainly around PPE and test kits, in line with government stimulus programs that were launched from April through the summer of 2020 (including the fake US website). The Trading Commission, which impersonated the US Federal Trade Commission with the intent to steal user credentials), and the vaccine distribution campaign that began in late fall 2020 (including the fake websites of Pfizer and Biontech, which were launched with the intention of stealing data. User supported too).
It should be noted here that the intensity of fraudulent attacks related to the issue of vaccines increased by 530%, during the period between December of 2020 until February of 2021, and the intensity of fraud attacks related to pharmacies and hospitals increased, targeting them, by 189% during the same period of time. .
On the other hand, the results of the analyzes showed that Microsoft is the most targeted brand so far by the attackers. For example, some attackers have created fake Microsoft web pages, with the aim of stealing the credentials of employees working in many international institutions, which include pharmacies. And health care institutions around the world.
“Expectations indicate that fraudulent attacks related to the issue of vaccine distribution will continue to spread at the global level, coinciding with the continuation of the distribution and release of vaccines, including attacks targeting the health care and life sciences sectors,” added Lucas Hu.