Working In The New Norm?
HWM Singapore|November 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on virtually every aspect of our lives. The way we live and work has been transformed beyond recognition. To put it simply - Life on earth has gone online. This change wasn’t gradual, it happened virtually overnight. Businesses around the world have had to adapt at the speed of light, making significant infrastructure changes. While companies rush to have their employees work from home, IT and security teams have been forced to adapt to the new normal and race to secure the evolving attack surface. In the meantime, threat actors have been taking advantage of this situation, evolving their skills and methodologies to exploit the vulnerabilities of this new hybrid world.
Evan Dumas

01 Proliferation of COVIDthemed attacks

COVID-19 has prompted a great increase in the proliferation of malware attacks that leverage social engineering techniques and exploit our all-consuming preoccupation with the virus. Thousands of corona related domain-names were registered, many of which have been used for scamming unsuspecting victims.

Some domains were used to launch emails that claimed to sell (ultimately fake) COVID-19 vaccinations or medication, others for various phishing campaigns or for distributing malicious mobile applications. Some scammers have also been offering merchandise with ‘special coronavirus discounts’. What’s more, hackers are targeting countries that have been suffering very high rates of infection, as they are perceived to be most vulnerable to attack.

02 Zoom related phishing attacks

This particular cyber threat is driven by the explosive growth in the use of the video conferencing app, Zoom. During lockdowns, the use of Zoom skyrocketed from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019, to over 300 million in April 2020. Cybercriminals have been leveraging the popularity of this app to launch phishing attacks.

According to Check Point Research, Zoom-related domain registrations, and fake Zoom installation programs in particular, have been behind major increase in cyberattacks. We worked with Zoom earlier this year to fix a potential vulnerability that could have allowed hackers to join a meeting uninvited. Recently, our team has also helped to mitigate the risk associated with a potential security issue in Zoom’s customisable ‘Vanity URLs’ feature’ — one that could have allowed hackers to send fake Zoom Business meeting invites that appear to be associated with a particular Zoom user, with the aim of inserting malware and stealing data or credentials from that user.

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