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Beware of spear phishing cyberattacks during COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The coronavirus vaccine is giving a big boost to crooks.

According to the FBI, cybercriminals are using the vaccine to steal your information and empty your bank accounts.

We looked at how crooks are using fear to lure potential victims.

How it starts: You could receive an email that looks urgent with a message about what day people at your company are scheduled to get the vaccine.

It looks authentic, but it just might be what is known as a spear phishing attack. That’s when cybercriminals target a specific person to get them to click on a link that has malware in it.

Then, your computer system is vulnerable for the hackers to steal your identity and get access to your financial information.

“Clicking on a link in a phishing or spear phishing email could end up compromising your device, whether you are using a laptop, your mobile phone, whatever the case might be,” said Carrie Kerskie, a cybersecurity expert in Southwest Florida. “Or it could take you to a website where it’s going to ask you to put in your login credentials or ask you to enter your sensitive information.”

If you get an email from an unknown address

  • Be on the lookout
  • Beware of offers to get the vaccine early
  • Look out for changes in email addresses
  • Enable multi-factor authentication for all email accounts
  • Prohibit automatic forwarding of email to external addresses

Spear phishing is a multibillion-dollar scam. If you accidently click on the link, make sure you get your computer examined for malware and viruses.

If you click on the link at work, report it to the IT department, and go ahead and file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).


Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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