Lure criminals with Covid-Omikron | Pentest7

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Cyber ​​criminals are using new developments relating to the Corona virus as thematic bait for digital attacks, including alleged test information relating to the newly discovered Covid-19 Omikron variant.

Proofpoint’s security experts have identified attacks attempting to steal credentials for various universities’ systems. Proofpoint was able to observe that the hacker group responsible for the attacks initially circulated e-mails with the Delta variant of Covid-19 as bait, but after the Omikron variant became known, they immediately used it as a lead for their campaign.

In general, cyber criminals almost always focus on current topics that concern many people. That was already the case before the pandemic and – hardly surprisingly – has led to these criminal hackers regularly using Covid-19 topics for their attack emails in the last two years or so.

What is new about the current campaign is that there are now consistent, targeted campaigns to steal credentials using such bait and targeting universities. This campaign began in October 2021. After the announcement of the new Omikron variant at the end of November, the attackers began using the new virus variant for themselves.

It can be assumed that these activities will increase in the next two months as colleges and universities increasingly offer and require tests for students, teachers and other employees. The upcoming holiday season and the increasing spread of the Omikron variant also suggest this.

Analogous to the delta variant of the coronavirus, the experts at Proofpoint assume that more criminals will jump on this bandwagon and use Omikron-related Covid-19 topics for their activities. This assessment is based on studies that have already been published, which show that Covid-19 topics were increasingly observed again in email campaigns after the emergence of the delta variant in August 2021.

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