COVID-19: Cybercrime Opportunities and Law Enforcement Response [March 19, 2020]   [open pdf - 542KB]

From the Document: "Opportunistic criminals and other malicious actors exploit the internet and rapidly evolving technology to their advantage. Criminals can compromise financial assets; hacktivists can flood websites with traffic, effectively shutting them down; and spies can steal intellectual property and government secrets. And, they capitalize on ever changing world events. Federal officials have cautioned about scams relating to the outbreak of disease caused by a previously unidentified strain of coronavirus, designated Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19. They have noted that '[c]yber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.' Indeed, analysts and officials have reported criminals using public interest in COVID-19 to their advantage. For instance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) cites 'reports of individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud, reports of phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and reports of malware being inserted onto mobile apps designed to track the spread of the virus.' In one scheme reported by security experts, hackers sold a malware infection kit that used an interactive map of coronavirus infections produced by Johns Hopkins University. The kit was designed to spread malware to steal passwords."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN11257
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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