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Privacy Tip #236 – Foreign Government-Backed Phishing Attacks Pose as Fast Food Chains

Google has warned users in a blog article that nation state-backed hackers are using the COVID-19 crisis to ramp up phishing attempts and, in one example, are posing as American fast food franchises and sending malicious emails with fake offers and coupons to government officials and health care workers.

Google has identified over 12 government-backed attack groups that are targeting U.S. officials and healthcare workers with malicious emails sent to Gmail accounts in an attempt to obtain account credentials. Some of the malicious emails impersonate well-known U.S.-based fast food chains with offers and coupons.

The phishing attempts have increased dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis, and Google reported that it blocks more than 100 million phishing emails sent to users each day. Google also stated that in one week it had seen 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19, in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages.

Message? Know that hackers, foreign government-backed attackers, and criminals are in full force and targeting all of us. Be wary and vigilant and highly suspicious of any links or attachments, keep malware and spam filters up to date, and call for help from your IT professional before you click.

Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 114

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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence
Partner

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...

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