Organised gangs spread vaccine scam

Websites convincingly designed to resemble official government domains

Email security business Mimecast has discovered that a new organised crime group has created a new scam offering people a COVID vaccine, with websites that mirror official government domains and written without any spelling errors.

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According to Nick Emanuel, senior director of product, Webroot: “Organised cybercrime is constantly adapting to shifts in the news agenda, so we’ll continue to see groups develop sophisticated new scams as the UK’s response to the pandemic develops.

“Although the NHS typically contacts vaccine candidates by letter, services such as local primary health care providers or doctors’ surgeries are using email and SMS to communicate with patients, offering an opportunity for cybercriminals to target those less easily exploited by physical mail.”

Businesses can ensure their employees are protected from these threats by implementing effective cybersecurity education that empowers users to be a proactive participant, he adds. “To realise the benefits of such education, this training should include regular ongoing phishing simulations tuned to the latest attack type and methods used by criminals.”

It is also important for businesses to layer their security to achieve cyber resilience. “This involves combining device and endpoint security with strong intelligent web/domain protection, as well as the aforementioned security awareness training, to ensure they’re adequately protected.”