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From Coronavirus To Black Lives Matter -- Email Phishing Scams Continue Hitting New Lows

Published: July 7, 2020 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.

By now, most of us know that hackers exploit whatever they can, however and whenever they can. During the coronavirus pandemic, hacking history was made thanks to the volume of cyberattacks targeting citizens worldwide. Not that hackers have given up on using the pandemic as a shiny lure, but the current state of politics and race is proving impossible for them to resist. Yes, cyber criminals are now using content related to the Black Lives Matter movement to snare victims and to…oh right, steal more money.

At this time of ongoing unrest, cybercriminals have jumped on the Black Lives Matter movement as another effective phishing lure. One email phishing campaign pushed the subject line “Vote anonymous about Black Lives Matter.” The email content is sparse, simply instructing recipients to download the attached file in order to “vote.” The kicker is, the attachments are chock full of malware that’s now loaded onto a device. There’s a very good chance the malware will have any number of capabilities, including stealing an identity, locking a device using ransomware, taking financial data like bank account and credit card numbers, and heisting passwords and login information to…oh right, steal more money.

These cyber thieves are part of the same population of scammers who steal identities from newborns, prey on vulnerable targets, lock-up healthcare data for a ransom payment, and generally take advantage of any situation to what? Oh right, steal more money.

As bad actors continue to hit new lows, being keenly aware of email phishing can prevent a lot of misery. Not knowing what topic hackers will exploit next, be on the lookout for any subject, especially those that tug on emotions, fears, hopes, and heartstrings. Pay attention to the sender’s address, generic greetings, bad grammar, and typo’s, and especially any attachments. Never, ever download an attachment unless you’re expecting it and are 100% positive it comes from a trusted source who actually intended to send it to you. If you cannot be sure, place a quick phone call, send a text, or send a new email message asking for confirmation. It’s really that simple to avoid being hooked.

Over time, email phishing has become the main attack vector for installing malware onto a device. Proceed very carefully with emails from unknown senders and don’t be the one helping hackers to…well, you know.

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