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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Kaspersky unmasks spam phishing emails disguised as vaccination appointment forms

05/09/2021 08:54:01 PM

While the world has been waiting so bad for vaccines to come, warnings have been issued by global cybersecurity brands like Kasperksy in regards to that because scammers are constantly searching for new ways to steal users’ data. 

It was last year when these cyber criminals bank on the extensive use of  COVID-19 related spam letters and phishing pages to benefit from the year’s most alarming and high-profile news story. This year, however, saw a somewhat similar scheme because according to a recent report called Spam and Phishing in Q1 2021, scammers are continuing to exploit this epidemiological challenge – this time, focusing on the vaccination process.

Kaspersky experts discovered various types of phishing pages distributed all over the world such as spam letters, recipients are invited to get a vaccine, to take part in a survey, or to diagnose COVID-19. For instance, some users from the UK received an email that appeared to come from the country’s National Health Service, with the intent of being invited to be vaccinated. The catch, though is that this phishing email disguised as the legitimate process wherein users must first confirm their desire to be vaccinated by following the link in order to fill in their personal details in order to make a vaccination appointment.

Another way to gain access to users’ personal data has been through fake vaccination surveys. For this to happen, scammers will send emails on behalf of large pharmaceutical companies producing COVID-19 vaccines, inviting the recipient to take part in a short survey. Then, anyone who will be participating was promised a gift for their participation in the survey. After answering the questions, the victim was redirected to a page with the “gift”. To receive the prize, users were asked to fill out a detailed form with personal information. In some cases, the attackers asked for payment of a token amount, for delivery.

To cap Kaspersky's recent news item, their experts found spam letters offering services on behalf of Chinese manufacturers. The emails offered products to diagnose and treat the virus, but the emphasis was on the sale of vaccination syringes.
“In 2021, we saw a continuation of 2020 trends. Cybercriminals are still actively using the COVID-19 theme to entice potential victims. As coronavirus vaccination programs have been rolled out, spammers have adopted the process as bait. It is important to remember that though such offers may look very favorable, the likelihood of a successful deal is zero. The user can avoid losing data or, in some cases money if they remain vigilant to the supposed lucrative offers distributed online,” commented Tatyana Shcherbakova, a security expert at Kaspersky.
In order to avoid falling victim to a scam, Kaspersky also advises users:
  • To be skeptical of any unusually generous offers and promotions
  • To verify that messages are coming from reliable sources
  • Not to follow links from suspicious emails, instant messages, or social network communication
  • To check the authenticity of websites they visit
  • To install a security solution with up-to-date databases that include knowledge of the latest phishing and spam resources
Author: slickmaster | © 2021 The SlickMaster's Files

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