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NextGen Magazine


As Americans Shift to Working from Home, Cybercriminals Lie in Wait

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Mar 25, 2020

With so many people now working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, cybersecurity experts are warning that cybercriminals are looking to exploit security risks created by the shift, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More people online means more personal data flowing through the networks, particularly given how many have shifted to personal devices, and with IT personnel struggling to ensure smooth operations, they have less time and attention to devote to security.

The Department of Justice said it has already received reports of individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud; phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information to gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received; and individuals seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or nonexistent charitable organizations.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, said that hacking attempts against the agency have spiked during the pandemic, including someone setting up a malicious site that mimics the organization's internal email system, said Reuters.

The Journal said that other players, however, are likely watching and waiting for other opportunities, and that the full cybersecurity implications of the pandemic may not be felt for weeks, months or even longer.