As Google and Apple prepare to offer a jointly developed infrastructure for contact-tracing smartphone apps to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group, is raising concerns about the risks involved.
Many attackers continue to camp out in networks for months, conducting reconnaissance and stealing sensitive data before unleashing ransomware. Experts say many recent efforts trace to gangs wielding the RobbinHood, Valet Loader, NetWalker, PonyFinal, Maze and Sodinokibi strains of crypto-locking malware.
Over the past five years, a sophisticated spyware campaign has been targeting Android users through Trojan-laced apps in the Google Play store that are disguised as various plugins, browser cleaners and application updaters, according to Kaspersky researchers.
Less than 24 hours after the Australian government released its COVID-19 contact-tracing app Sunday, nearly 2 million people had downloaded it. As security and privacy experts review the app, one outstanding question is if the public will trust it enough to reach the public health target of 10 million users.
It's not so much that the threats have changed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It's that the attack surface has broadened, and it's more challenging for defenders to coordinate intelligence, tooling and processes, says Jimmy Astle of VMware Carbon Black.
VictoryGate, a recently discovered botnet that infected about 35,000 devices with malware, has been disabled by researchers from security firm ESET. The botnet's main purpose was mining monero cryptocurrency.
Two recently uncovered spear-phishing campaigns targeted oil and gas firms in the U.S., Asia and South Africa with AgentTesla, a notorious information stealer, according to Bitdefender. These campaigns appear tied to the global oil crisis.
Many governments are pursuing contact-tracing apps to combat COVID-19, but such projects risk subjecting populations to invasive, long-term surveillance - as well as insufficient adoption - unless they take an open, transparent and as decentralized approach, says cybersecurity expert Alan Woodward.
About 25,000 email addresses and passwords that are apparently for staff at the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other organizations have been dumped online, according to the Washington Post.
In the age of COVID-19 - when staying as close to home as possible and trying to avoid touching anything in public that might spread coronavirus is the new normal - cash is out, and "contactless" payments are in, if you're lucky enough to be able to use them.