Hackers are creating phishing attacks that capitalise on the fear surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Security firm Recorded Future has found that the global COVID-19 panic has spawned a number of new phishing attacks.
“The technical threat surrounding COVID-19 primarily appears to be around phishing, with actors promising that attachments contain information about COVID-19,” the firm stated.
“Recorded Future observed an extensive list of actors and malware employing these techniques, including Trickbot, Lokibot, and Agent Tesla, targeting a broad set of victims, including those in the United States, Italy, Ukraine, and Iran in particular.”
It added that attackers are impersonating representatives of the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in an attempt to prompt interaction with dangerous links or attachments from victims.
The number of newly-registered domains related to the coronavirus threat has increased as the outbreak has grown, with many being used to support phishing campaigns related to COVID-19.
Coronavirus in South Africa
The South African Department of Health recently confirmed that the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa has risen to 17, with the first local transmission of the virus occurring in the Free State.
According to the department, a 32-year-old male came into contact with a Chinese businessman, making it the first case of local transmission, as all other cases have been by patients who had travelled abroad.
The other three new confirmed cases are from KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng.
South African Airways recently outlined its plans to deal with the coronavirus threat, stating that it would follow international guidelines set out by the CDC and WHO.
SAA said that its crew uses officially-approved and industry-recognised disinfectants on all flights, and its flight attendants use gloves that are sanctioned by the food industry.
“The airline uses sanitation procedures for all domestic, regional, and international flights,” SAA said.
“Should health authorities inform the airline that a person who travelled with SAA exhibited coronavirus symptoms, the aircraft will be taken out of service and put through a decontamination process,” SAA said.