Hackers created 130,000 new email domains to carrry out ‘fear-ware’ attacks

Aurel Constantin 06/05/2020 | 10:12

Attackers are exploiting concerns about the virus to convince people to open emails and click on malicious links in a new trend called “fearware”. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, 130,000 new email domains related to coronavirus has been created by hackers globally, as a manner of bypassing standard spam filters used by the companies. A recent study determined that 10,000 coronavirus related domains are created each day, with roughly nine out of ten having a malicious intent or attempting to sell fake products.

To support Romanian companies in the times of increased cybersecurity threats, Romanian entrepreneurial company Safetech Innovations in partnership with Darktrace, the world’s leading cyber Artificial Intelligence company, offer a free trial version of its AI-powered email security product Antigena Email. Local and international companies can contact Safetech Innovations at link https://www.safetech.ro/cybersecurity/fearware/ to receive the 30-day trial of Antigena Email, to protect their employees from the attempted cyberattacks.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak across the world, many organizations are now working remotely, which results in greater reliance on email communication. The hackers exploit the situation as Darktrace’s customers have noted almost 700% increase in phishing attacks alone since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020. Hackers are crafting hyper-realistic phishing emails, ‘fearware campaigns’, that appear to come from health authorities, but instead contain malicious software that can steal a person’s data or hijack their device. This raises unique security challenges – traditional email security tools usually block phishing attacks that were recognized before, but each fearware campaign is unique in its content.

“The hackers are exploiting the fear, uncertainty and doubt as well as to adapt very fast to the changing environment to carry out cybersecurity attacks. We have seen an unprecedented increase in the cyberattacks since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an increase in phishing attacks, which primarily target individual users, as well as orchestrated cybersecurity attacks on organizations, including hospitals as well as providers of critical infrastructure,” said Victor Gansac, CEO at Safetech Innovations.

“As most people are desperate to find more information about the coronavirus outbreak, the probability that they will open unsolicited emails on this subject is significantly higher. Considering that many employees are still using the same computer for work-related tasks as for personal purposes, reading news and interacting on social media, the risk of companies becoming victims of cyberattacks is significant. Therefore, we urge companies to review their cybersecurity policies to ensure that they are protected and can truly ensure the continuity of their business,” added Gansac.

Darktrace’s Antigena Email product can distinguish malicious emails from legitimate business communications and stop those emails from ever reaching the employee’s inbox. Powered by artificial intelligence, the technology works by forming an evolving understanding of ‘normal activity’ for corporate email environments and the individual users within them. This allows it to detect incoming novel and targeted attacks including domain spoofing, supply chain account takeovers, and impersonation attempts, that traditional tools let through. Antigena continually evaluates emails using a deep understanding of what ‘normal’ communication looks like for every user on a network and enforces this ‘normal’ by automatically thwarting malicious emails before they reach a victim.

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