Google said in a blog post that scammers are sending 18 million Coronavirus related phishing and malware emails to Gmail users every day. Accordingly, Google has intercepted 18 million of these emails in the past week.
“During the last week, we saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19. This is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages,” the company said. “Our ML models have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and we continue to block more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching our users.”
Hackers are attempting to impersonate authorities, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), in an effort to trick victims into downloading software or donating to bogus causes. Moreover, attackers are impersonating phish employees operating in a work-from-home setting, attempting to capitalize on government stimulus packages and imitates government institutions to phish small businesses, and target organizations impacted by stay-at-home orders.
Gmail malware scanners
The malware scanners implemented by Google are capable to block over 99.9% of all spam, phishing, and malware messages from reaching to Gmail users.
“We have put proactive monitoring in place for COVID-19-related malware and phishing across our systems and workflows. In many cases, these threats are not new—rather, they’re existing malware campaigns that have simply been updated to exploit the heightened attention on COVID-19.” continues the report.
Google added that every time they detect a new threat, they add it to the Safe Browsing API to protect users in Chrome, Gmail, and all other company products to extend the protection to over four billion devices.
Google advised users to:
- Complete a Security Checkup to improve your account security
- Avoid downloading files that you don’t recognize; instead, use Gmail’s built-in document preview
- Check the integrity of URLs before providing login credentials or clicking a link—fake URLs generally imitate real URLs and include additional words or domains
- Avoid and report phishing emails
- Consider enrolling in Google’s Advanced Protection Program (APP)—we’ve yet to see anyone that participates in the program be successfully phished, even if they’re repeatedly targeted
Gmail is the most popular email service in the world, with 1.5 billion users. The company claims that the virus may now be the biggest phishing topic ever.
Recently, Apple And Google partner up to launch COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Tool.
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