Archives: Coronavirus

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FTC Warns of COVID-19 Scam Targeted at Small Businesses

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning small businesses that they are being targeted by scammers through a new coronavirus-related scam. The scam “starts with an email that claims to come from the ‘Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance.’ It says you’re eligible for a loan of up to $250,000 and asks for personal … Continue Reading

Greater Baltimore Medical Center Hit with Ransomware

The Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) was hit with a ransomware attack over the weekend (December 5-6) that potentially delayed procedures planned for Monday. Cyber-attacks against medical providers and hospitals are at an all-time high, which is particularly difficult while hospitals are trying to address the rising need for services during the pandemic. GMBC has … Continue Reading

Dealing with Two Schoolyard Bullies: Schools Are Forced to Contend with Cyber-attacks While Also Trying to Manage Covid-19 Crisis

Criminals are apparently not taking any time off during this pandemic, and in fact by all accounts have increased their attacks, particularly targeting entities whose attention is diverted to dealing with the fallout of the Covid-19 crisis. In particular, educational institutions across the country have faced a recent onslaught of ransomware attacks, often crippling an … Continue Reading

Secureworks 2020 Incident Response Report Confirms Increased Vulnerabilities with At Home Workers During Pandemic

Secureworks issues an annual Incident Response Report that is very helpful in obtaining information on what types of incidents are occurring in order to become more resistant to threats. The 2020 IR Report was recently issued, and it contained some conclusions that made sense, while others were surprising. The Report, entitled Pandemic-Driven Change: The Effect … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #256 – COVID-19 Scams Continue to Plague U.S. Public

It has been widely reported that hackers are taking advantage of the pandemic to perpetrate scams and frauds. We have seen attacks against workers of companies through phishing emails that include an attachment or link offering information or access to specialized treatment for COVID-19 to lure people to click on them. Once they click on … Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and FICO Release Security Guidelines on Telework During COVID-19

It is no secret that companies are experiencing an increase in security incidents following the transition from work in the office to work from home during the pandemic. There are a number of causes, including the difficulty of controlling the security of at-home technology equipment such as routers, printers, personal assistants and other IoT devices, … Continue Reading

OFAC Issues Advisory on Sanctions for Facilitating Ransomware Payments

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory “to highlight the sanctions risks associated with ransomware payments related to malicious cyber-enabled activities.” The advisory acknowledges that the incidents of ransomware attacks on U.S. companies have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the advisory does … Continue Reading

Automated Vehicles Assist with Contactless Delivery During COVID-19 Pandemic

Several autonomous vehicle developers stopped their on-road testing to keep staff at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but others pivoted to COVID-19 relief, not only to be useful but to gain experience. Some companies and developers in this space have taken this opportunity to deploy self-driving cars and driverless bots to help deliver goods both … Continue Reading

Chinese and Russian Hackers Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Makers in U.S. Crosshairs

Last week, authorities from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada accused a well-known hacker group tied to the Russian government, APT29 a/k/a Cozy Bear of using malware to exploit security vulnerabilities to enable it to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from companies located in these countries working to develop a vaccine. This was after a … Continue Reading

Three Keys to Avoid Microsoft Teams Data Swamp

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly forced companies to innovate and explore new ways of working across its workforce and client base. Some have decided to dive head first into implementing collaboration technologies such as Microsoft Teams. Afterall, it’s part of the Microsoft stack, so in theory such a decision doesn’t require a significant financial investment. … Continue Reading

What Does 2020 Have in Store for CCPA Enforcement and Litigation?

While the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1st of this year, the California Attorney General submitted the final draft of proposed regulations only last month. With the CCPA’s inclusion of a private right of action for California residents to seek actual or statutory damages if their personal information has been … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #244 – Beware of Scammers Posing as Utility Company Employees

The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their jobs and many are struggling to make ends meet, including paying their utility bills. With economic turmoil comes scammers ready to take advantage of heightened anxiety and to prey on individuals when they are the most vulnerable. Recently, scammers have been posing as employees … Continue Reading

OCR Issues Guidance About Media Access to Health Care Facilities

These days, news stations are frequently running stories concerning people being treated for COVID-19, the providers working tirelessly to care for them, and politicians visiting health care facilities for a first-hand look at the crisis. In response to the media interest, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on May 5, 2020 to healthcare … Continue Reading

Financial Services Information Sharing Group Warns of Increased Phishing Attacks

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) has warned that financial services firms, and in particular smaller ones, are being attacked at an increased rate during the coronavirus pandemic. According to FS-ISAC, phishing attacks against financial services firms increased by one-third in the first quarter of 2020. In that time period, FS-ISAC identified … Continue Reading

Small Business Administration Loan Portal Compromised

Following the devastating impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, many small businesses applied for a disaster loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for relief. Small businesses that qualify for the disaster loan program, which is different than the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the SBA, can apply for the loan by uploading the … Continue Reading

New York Department of Financial Services Issues Guidance Regarding Heightened Cybersecurity Awareness During COVID-19 Pandemic

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued guidance to its regulated entities regarding heightened cybersecurity awareness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. DFS described three primary areas of heightened risk during this time: remote working, increased instances of phishing and fraud, and third-party risks. With respect to remote working, DFS noted … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #236 – Foreign Government-Backed Phishing Attacks Pose as Fast Food Chains

Google has warned users in a blog article that nation state-backed hackers are using the COVID-19 crisis to ramp up phishing attempts and, in one example, are posing as American fast food franchises and sending malicious emails with fake offers and coupons to government officials and health care workers. Google has identified over 12 government-backed … Continue Reading

Interpol Issues Alert on Increased Risk of Ransomware Attacks Against COVID-19 Medical Organizations

Interpol has issued an alert to global law enforcement agencies about the increased risk of ransomware attacks on hospitals, health care providers and other organizations on the front line of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Purple Notice, issued to all 194 member countries, notified them that Interpol’s Cybercrime Threat Response team has detected a … Continue Reading

FBI Issues Warning of Increased BEC During COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 6, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning to companies to be aware of an increase in business email compromises (BEC) entitled “FBI Anticipates Rise in Business Email Compromise Schemes Related to the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Although BECs have been around for years, attackers are using the fact that many employees … Continue Reading
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