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FBI WARNING: Cyberattacks Taking Advantage of COVID-19

The FBI reported that it “anticipates cyber actors will exploit increased use of virtual environments by government agencies, the private sector, private organizations, and individuals as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Computer systems and virtual environments provide essential communication services for telework and education, in addition to conducting regular business. Cyber actors exploit vulnerabilities in these systems to steal sensitive information, target individuals and businesses performing financial transactions, and engage in extortion.”  The April 1, 2020 Public Service Announcement (PSA) entitled “CYBER ACTORS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO EXPLOIT INCREASED USE OF VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS” included these comments:

As of March 30 2020, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received and reviewed more than 1,200 complaints related to COVID-19 scams.

In recent weeks, cyber actors have engaged in phishing campaigns against first responders, launched DDoS attacks against government agencies, deployed ransomware at medical facilities, and created fake COVID-19 websites that quietly download malware to victim devices.

Based on recent trends, the FBI assesses these same groups will target businesses and individuals working from home via telework software vulnerabilities, education technology platforms, and new Business Email Compromise schemes.

No surprise about this FBI PSA, but we need to be prepared!

© 2020 Foley & Lardner LLP

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About this Author

Peter Vogel, trial attorney, Foley Lardner
Partner

Peter Vogel is renowned as both a trial and transactional lawyer who deeply understands technology, science and intellectual property, and the opportunities and problems they pose for clients. Governments and administrative agencies, as well as major corporations and emerging businesses, rely on Peter to get right to the heart of an information technology or e-discovery dispute; he knows what to expect and how it will play out in the courtroom. This eliminates unproductive rabbit trails and reduces the cost of litigation for all parties. When negotiating agreements for...

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