Cybercriminals are capitalizing on coronavirus fears

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A leading cyber security firm says criminals and a group affiliated with China are capitalizing on growing fears over the coronavirus, leading to a spike in malicious online activity.

“They’ve been sending people emails to prey on people’s fears and open attachments,” Adam Meyers, a vice president at CrowdStrike, told CBS News in an exclusive interview. Meyers said the first indication of an uptick in activity centered around the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, emerged in Asia.

“In criminal and nation-state attacks, we have actually observed these things move East to West,” he said. “We have watched criminal actors, for example, target financial institutions in Asia and then move across Europe, into the United States, as they develop their tactics and capabilities. So I think this is a good example of where that could happen. And it’s following the path of the virus.”

As the virus spreads now spreads within the U.S., Meyers revealed new intelligence and images showing how CrowdStrike has tracked the emerging threat. He said a China-based adversary known as PIRATE PANDA uses major news events as a lure to implant malware that allows remote access to a victim’s computer network. An earlier effort in January tried to capitalize on the U.S. strike that killed an Iranian military leader, and a more recent file mimicked official health data about the coronavirus, featuring labels falsely suggesting it contained sensitive records.

Read more via CBS News

Once you're here...