The Coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak of which was first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in late December 2019, is currently a constant topic in the news. Favoured by the hesitant behaviour of the Chinese authorities and global travel and air traffic, there are, according to information from the Federal Ministry of Health, at this point in time (as of 5 February 2020) more than 24,000 cases of infection and over 400 deaths attributed to the corona virus. In addition to these dramatic health consequences, the virus also poses other dangers.
While the situation in the area of malware and spam has been critical since autumn 2019 due to the banking trojan Emotet, cybercriminals are now exploiting fears of the Corona virus to persuade the sensitized and thus more emotionally active population to open email attachments and click on embedded links. To achieve this, the attackers establish a connection to the Corona virus in the infected emails, for example by pretending to have attached a document containing precautionary measures, information on the current threat situation in the recipient’s region or a link to a donation portal.
With the click of a button, the entire IT network is infected and all studies confirm that emails are the main gateway for cyber attacks. Users have been sensitized, but not for the now high quality of the fake emails and the great danger that can be caused by a single ill-considered click. The numerous successful attacks on public institutions are impressive proof of this.
In addition to raising awareness among employees and increasing alertness, even for authentic-looking emails, an powerful spam filter is the basic prerequisite for IT security. And not only in times of pandemics, regardless of whether they are organic viruses or computer viruses.