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Omicron Gives Corona-Related Phishing A Boost


Cybercriminals are cleverly responding to the concerns about the omicron variant and the significantly increased demand for corona tests.


Researchers from security company Baracuda conclude that the number of phishing campaigns involving corona test kits has increased by 521 percent since October 2021.

This is not the first time that the pandemic has been used by cybercriminals for phishing campaigns. At the start of the outbreak, in March 2020, Barracuda researchers even saw a 667 percent increase in corona-related attacks. That happened again in early 2021, as vaccination programs got underway in several countries, with a spate of vaccine-related email threats.

In this latest wave, criminals are using different methods. The most common forms of fraud include offers for corona tests and other medical supplies, such as masks or gloves. In some cases, this concerns counterfeit or non-approved products.

In the other cases, recipients receive false notifications of orders for corona tests, asking them to pay via PayPal to purchase rapid corona tests. Also, some scammers pose as test labs, test providers or employees who send falsified test results.

Other forms of corona-related phishing have also been detected in the Benelux. For example, emails are sent in which the recipient is presented with financial compensation due to Covid-19. However, the actual URL appears to point to a different location. In this way, criminals try to obtain login credentials.

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