The Coronavirus has undoubtedly changed the world; in its impact on the daily lives of billions across the globe; the ways people are able to socialize in a world of social distancing; the health and healthcare of everyone across the planet; and even the giant impact for the global economy.  But another threat looms; as these changes we are now seeing globally have fostered an environment in which scam artists, spammers, and hackers have free rein.

Phishing scams pertaining to coronavirus started making the rounds in January and have only grown since by playing on the fear of a deadly new plague.  One hospital in the Czech Republic had a ransomware attack recently that not only disrupted the day to day of the hospital but even resulted in the postponements of necessary surgeries.  Even more sophisticated hackers have been using the pandemic to trick the unwary into spreading their nasty malware.  All of this, because the world situation has left many open to all kinds of cyberattacks.

With more people working from home than ever before, there are more dangers because there are much fewer defenses on home networks than one would have in their corporate offices.  Even in situations where small crews are still working out of offices, distractions can come up, leaving vulnerable periods during such times of distractedness or even in periods of anxiety; and the most seasoned professionals can fall for malicious attacks.

Attacks like the one on the hospital in the Czech Republic pose a clear threat to the health of patients at that specific hospital but also appear to be even more reprehensible in a time of a health crisis that is currently testing the boundaries of the worldwide healthcare system.  Phishing and scamming websites are now appearing all over the Internet with reports of up to thousands of new domains being listed each day.

Even the intelligence agencies of other nations are poised to take advantage of the current global situation.  With everything going on, it’s easy to be distracted and this sense of distraction on a global scale has created a window for such attacks to be a bit more aggressive than they would have been in the past; so it stands to reason that the unscrupulous would take advantage of such an environment.

Though the Internet was built with the capacity to withstand tragic events, the current pandemic situation takes things much farther than the planning of most organizations.  In fact, the pandemic has the capability of exposing governments to attacks as they focus their resources on the outbreak and direct much of their own staff to work from home.  Many governments are turning to services that they normally would not rely on to handle their communication.  Such communication methods may not be insecure, but there is no doubt that reliance on them could have unintended consequences.