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This article was published on March 27, 2020

Europol is chasing hackers exploiting the coronavirus pandemic

You done messed up COVID-19 hackers

Europol is chasing hackers exploiting the coronavirus pandemic

Europol wants you to rest assured it’s pursuing cyberbaddies seeking to steal your personal data and savings by exploiting the coronavirus crisis.

In a new report, the agency pinpointed some of the most common tactics hackers employ to lure in victims during the pandemic. Europol notes the increased fear around the outbreak has made people more susceptible to scams.

It also doesn’t help there’s an increased demand for goods since supply chains are facing difficulties. These limitations, coupled with government lockdowns, have created the perfect conditions for hackers to “displace [criminal activities] to home or online settings.”

[Read: Coronavirus petitions have generated over 3,590,563 signatures]

“While many people are committed to fighting this crisis and helping victims, there are also criminals who have been quick to seize the opportunities to exploit the crisis,” Europol executive director Catherine De Bolle said.

“This is unacceptable: such criminal activities during a public health crisis are particularly threatening and can carry real risks to human lives,” she continued. “That is why it is relevant more than ever to reinforce the fight against crime.”

While Europol has already identified some cases of cyber foulplay, including a COVID-19-related attack on Brno University Hospital in the Czech Republic, the agency has yet to catch the perpetrators. 

Since the outbreak, there has been a swath of coronavirus-related online scams circulating the web.

One common attack vector hackers used to infect users’ systems was via fake coronavirus tracking dashboards designed to spread malware. Indeed, researchers pointed out COVID-19-themed domain names are 50% more likely to be malicious than any other domains.

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