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Malware hidden in CVs takes advantage of Covid unemployment

Malware hidden in CVs takes advantage of Covid unemployment
Bad actors are exploiting the Covid-19 unemployment surge by hiding malware in email accounts related to both public health and job searches, IT specialists have warned.

The phishing practices were first revealed by Check Point, a cybersecurity company which discovered that hackers were using phone CVs and medical leave forms to take advantage of the crisis. 

In the US, the coronavirus pandemic has seen unemployment levels shoot up to levels unseen since the Great Depression, with unemployment hitting 14.7 percent in April. 

Although jobs are coming back – the most recent report suggested that unemployment now sits at 13.3% percent – there is still a lot of space for hackers to do harm. 

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In a blog post, the cybersecurity company noted that in March it actually “saw a 30 percent decrease in malware attacks compared to January 2020,” as the potential number of targets for attackers decreased as more businesses closed.

Since then, however, the security vendor found that, as the economy began moving again, so have the bad actors. “In May, we saw a 16 percent increase in cyberattacks when compared to the period between March and April,” the company stated in a blog post.

These attacks have taken on the guise of CVs and medical leave forms, with CV-themed campaigns in the US doubling in the last two months: one out of every 450 malicious files is now a CV-related scam. 

The malicious emails have subject lines such as “applying for job” or “regarding job” and, once opened, the malware steals the victim’s credentials and private information. 

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Check Point also found that bad actors were targeting businesses with medical leave forms, with titles such as “The following is a new Employee Request Form for leave within the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).” Again, once opened, a Trojan virus would steal user data. 

However, the post concludes by stating that, in May, Check Point “witnessed an average of more than 158,000 coronavirus-related attacks each week. When compared to April, this is a seven percent decrease.”

Whatever the case, as the world has been forced to become more tech-centric, new opportunities to exploit users have arisen. 

Last week, it was reported that the number of malicious Android apps has doubled during the pandemic. Until normality is restored, it would be wise to double check attachments before you open them. 

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