It was recently reported that Google has malware scanners built within the Gmail free email service which has blocked around 18 million phishing and malware emails using COVID-19 lures within one week. Gmail Security PM Neil Kumaran and G Suite and GCP Lead Security PM Sam Lugani explained: “During the last week, we saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19. This is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages.”
Erich Kron, Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4, said: “The fact that 18 million COVID-19-related emails are blocked each day just by Google is a sign of just how prolific these attacks are. In these times of high stress and change, cybercriminals know that humans are more vulnerable than ever to phishing and smishing attacks and are doing their best to capitalise on this. It is common for this type of thing to occur whenever there is a natural or a man-made event that draws significant news coverage but the bad actors will use that to their advantage.
“Because people are working from home and often miss out on the security benefits of corporate networks and organisation-managed devices, the bad guys know that many of the technical controls that can save people are now missing.
“The best thing organisations can do right now is to ensure that their employees have up-to-date training on how to spot and report phishing emails to their organisation. By reporting these, organisations can have them removed from other mailboxes, limiting the exposure to these attacks within the organisation.”