Monday, July 13, 2020

Free Covid-19 test offer could be possible Chinese cyber attack

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New Delhi: Indian security agencies have issued a cyber alert following an advisory from the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) regarding a potential “cyber offensive attack from the Chinese Army”.

In the recent alarm, it is warned that Chinese cyber warriors could be carrying out a massive phishing attack in the guise of a free Covid-19 test, said sources.

Amid the growing threat, it is advised to watch out for IDs like “[email protected]” and beware of malicious phishing emails, SMS, and messages on social media inciting individuals to provide personal and financial information.

It is advised to watch out for IDs like “[email protected]” and beware of malicious phishing emails, SMS, and messages on social media inciting individuals to provide personal and financial information

A senior official in the security establishment has warned that the phishing campaign is expected to impersonate government agencies, departments and trade associations who have been tasked to oversee the disbursement of the government’s fiscal aid.

He also cautioned about phishing emails with possible subject lines like “free Covid-19 testing for all residents of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad”.

“The malicious group claims to have 2 million individual email addresses and the attack campaign is expected to start on June 21,” the alert read.

As preventive measures, all the central security forces have been asked to direct their employees against opening or clicking on attachments in unsolicited e-mail, SMS or messages through social media.

It is instructed that the employees employed with these forces should be extra cautious when it comes to opening attachments, even if the sender appears to be known.

“Do not submit personal financial details on unfamiliar or unknown websites or links,” warns the alert. “It also asks to beware of e-mails, links providing special offers like Covid-19 testing, aid, winning prize, rewards, cashback offers.”

It is suggested to consider using safe browsing tools, filtering tools (antivirus and content-based filtering) in antivirus, firewall, and filtering services, and update spam filters with latest spam mail contents.

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