There have been 68,000 coronavirus-related domains registered since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak in January 2020 with an escalation in the number of coronavirus-related domains being registered since mid-February according to Check Point Research. In the past two weeks (since 2 April), there have been almost 17,000 new coronavirus-related domains had been registered (16,989 to be exact) with 2% found to be malicious and another 21% suspicious.
And with the pandemic now reaching almost every corner of the globe, many governments have announced economic stimulus packages, and as Check Point Research note on their recent glob post, “where there’s money, there will also be criminal activity. Hackers and threat actors want to cash in on the rush to get these vital payments and fill their own pockets at the expense of others. To do this, they are evolving the scam and phishing techniques that they have been using successfully since the start of the pandemic in January. Google recently reported that in just one week from 6 to 13 April, it saw more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to Covid-19 scams – and that’s in addition to the 240 million daily spam messages it sees related to coronavirus.”
To take advantage of these stimulus packages, Check Point Research found 4,305 domains relating to new stimulus/relief packages have been registered since January with a total of 2081 new domains registered (38 malicious; 583 suspicious) in March and 473 (18 malicious, 73 suspicious) in the first week of April.
Check Point Research also observed a major increase in the week starting 16 March “during which the American government proposed the stimulus package to taxpayers. The number of new domains registered that week was 3.5 times higher compared to the average of previous weeks.”
“These scam websites use the news of the coronavirus (Covid-19) financial incentives, and fears about Coronavirus to try and trick people into using the websites or clicking on links. Users that visit these malicious domains instead of the official Government websites risk having their personal information stolen and exposed, or payment theft and fraud.”
Check Point Research has also observed a rise in “scam websites that use the news of the coronavirus (Covid-19) financial incentives, and fears about Coronavirus to try and trick people into using the websites or clicking on links. Users that visit these malicious domains instead of the official Government websites risk having their personal information stolen and exposed, or payment theft and fraud.”
For more information, or to see the Check Point Research blog post in full, go to: https://blog.checkpoint.com/2020/04/20/coronavirus-update-as-economic-stimulus-payments-start-to-flow-cyber-attackers-want-to-get-their-share-too/