FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Mar 23rd – 29th

Hey there FixMeFans and StartMeStars! We’re back for another edition of our weekly roundup, where we give you the latest updates in the world of cybersecurity. This week has us focusing on more COVID-19 scams, how hackers are now targeting the Zoom application, and how groups are trying to scam people through delivery services.

It seems like a lot of cyber criminals are trying to put their skills to use recently, as scams and fraud have risen dramatically since the initial onset of the coronavirus. Each week it seems something new has taken place, and this week doesn’t seem to be any different. 

Recently, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has been shutting down sites which claimed to be selling COVID-19 vaccine kits. While the DOJ states that there are no legitimate COVID-19 vaccines available, it is still important to check your sources before diving into a scam like this. You’d expect news of a vaccine to be quite big, so any sites indicating that they’ve managed to find one are most likely fraudulent.

To make matters worse, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently been targeted in a hack, reports say. WHO is the UN agency responsible for monitoring international public health, and they have since become highly involved in the recent events surrounding the coronavirus.

Though the hackers were not successful in their attempt, it’s still concerning that cyber criminals are now targeting health organizations. Most likely, criminals are hoping to gain access to valuable information to hold for ransom – luckily they weren’t able to access any.

You can read more on the situation here.

Last week we reported on Zoombombing, in which strangers will join people’s Zoom chats and troll with graphic material. Now it seems like other groups are trying to take advantage of the rise in Zoom usage, by tricking people into downloading fake and malicious “Zoom” software.

Individuals seem to be registering fake “Zoom” domains containing prompts for downloading fake “Zoom” applications, which are often downloads loaded with malware. Over 17 000 new “Zoom” domains have been registered since the initial start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It seems with many people now working from home, scammers are truly trying to capitalize as much as they can, as they continue to find new ways to deceive and exploit anyone they can.

With that being said, it’s especially important now to exercise internet safety, as hackers and scammers are doing all they can to exploit you.

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Many countries across the world are urging their residents to stay home as much as possible and keep their outings to a minimum. This has caused many people to begin stockpiling groceries, or even making use of delivery services so they can minimize the amount of time spent outside.

Scammers have taken note of this, and have recently begun to text numbers regarding unpaid delivery fees. These texts are often riddled with links containing malware and phishing scams, and are geared for stealing private information and credit card details. 

The texts will look like a simple message concerning delivery fees, containing a link which users can follow to pay the modest amount owed. However, this link only leads to a fraudulent site, urging users to input information which will then be stolen by the scammers.

In this case, especially with scams at an all time high, we recommend to be extra cautious. Even when receiving messages from familiar names, make sure not to open any links directly from your phone. Do some back research beforehand, and never enter your personal information until you’ve verified the website you’re on.

That’s it for this week, folks! As we’ve stressed before, now is the time to exercise some extra caution with your online activity. Whether it be adding an extra layer of protection with a new antivirus, or even running your FixMeStick twice as much, be sure that you’re staying on top of all the viruses, both cyber and biological.