The World Health Organization has been increasingly associated with cybercrime as of late, both as a target and as a spoofed entity. Naturally, this is to be somewhat anticipated, giving the continued global health crisis that we are all facing. Let’s go over some of the events that the WHO has been associated with as of late.
With so many people seeking out information from authorities like the WHO, as well as the WHO’s efforts to collect donations for their COVID-19 Solitary Response Fund, it stands to reason that cybercriminals would jump on the opportunities that this presents. Email scams have appeared that, seeming to come from the WHO, phish targets into donating to a fraudulent fund. Other scams have attempted to extract payment card details or login credentials from the people targeted by them.
On an even more sinister note, state-based groups have capitalized on the global emergency to spy on other nations as their targets are distracted by the crisis.
On the inside of the operation, the WHO has recently suffered from a considerable data breach itself. 450 active WHO emails and passwords were leaked online, in addition to thousands belonging to those that have been working on the coronavirus response. According to the WHO, this attack “only” had any effect on an old extranet system that staff, former employees, and partners use, and has inspired them to migrate to improved authentication systems.
It only makes sense that the WHO would be targeted at this time. Cybercriminals are opportunistic by nature, and the hype around the coronavirus has made it the perfect snare for them to use.
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