Amidst the coronavirus crisis, there has been a lot of misinformation going around, including fake virus cures, deceptive ads, and attempts to link the virus to 5G networks. In that vein, Google has detected a spike in phishing attacks in which criminals attempt to deceive users into revealing personal information. Scott Helme, an independent security researcher said:
"The coronavirus pandemic is a highly emotional topic right now and cyber-criminals clearly know this. They're hoping that the typical person might be more inclined to click through links or follow bad instructions if they use this lure."
Each day, 18 million hoax coronavirus-related emails are being sent, the Mountain View, California-based firm said. It also said that 100 million phishing emails are blocked every day, and nearly 20% of blocked emails in the last week were related to the virus. Google claims that its protection filters block more than 99.9% of bogus emails from reaching users.
The scam emails, which claim to be from credible organizations like World Health Organization (WHO), reportedly include misinformation about the virus aimed at tricking the recipients into soliciting donations or installing malware on their devices. Moreover, cyber-criminals also portray themselves as government officials, trying to capitalize on government aid packages.