Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
But it’s very unfortunate that the cyber criminals are trying to take advantage of it, they had launched thousands of “fraud portals” related to the coronavirus. These sites have encouraged thousands of Indians eager to contribute to the fight against coronavirus into making donations. Many of these phony sites are quite sophisticated, virtually identical from their genuine counterparts.
PM CARES Fund affected
The Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund was created on 28 March 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic in India. At least half dozen fake versions of this site have emerged and have successfully solicited thousands of rupees from unsuspecting individuals. Senior officials from India’s Home Ministry said that more than 8,000 complaints had been received from Indians both home and abroad who had duped into giving money to fake versions of the government’s flagship fund.
Personal Data attack
Personal data also continues to be an attractive target during the pandemic. Indian officials have reported that malware and phishing schemes operating under the pretext of COVID-19 prevention efforts have similarly seen a steep rise since the outbreak. The so-called “coronavirus malware” is aimed at stealing bank account details, password and other sensitive information from users.
Phishing attack to steal defense information
These hacking groups perpetrated a series of ransomware and phishing attacks aimed at stealing highly sensitive defense, security and diplomatic information under the excuse of coronavirus health advisories. Scores of Indian government officials both in India and embassies around the world found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the attacks masquerading as legitimate epidemic-related communication. Hospitals and other institutions on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus, have also become targets of ransomware attacks designed to lock them out of their critical systems in an attempt to extort payments.
Among these all more than 550 million Indians that have connected to the Internet in recent years, fueled by rural growth. But the rapid explosion of Internet users and of the Internet of Things (IoT) has also left the country’s public and private sectors vulnerable to cyber attack.