Beware: COVID-19 hoax email ‘phishing’ attempts

Cybercriminals are capitalising on the urgency of COVID-19 communications to send hoax ‘phishing’ emails and SMS attacks that could infect computers or lead to the theft of logins and personal information.

Key points:

  • COVID-19 is being used as a phishing lure by cybercriminals
  • We expect to see an increase in exploits related to COVID-19 as publicity around the virus increases
  • Cybercriminals are using trusted brands, like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), to build credibility and entice users into opening attachments

Latest example of an email phishing attempt:

The language used, below, in an example email sent to all employees on Sunday 29 March gives an idea of the tactics being used:

All Staffs and are expected to migrate to the New 2020 Microsoft Outlook Web portal to access ***ClickHere*** to migrate. Important notice: All staffs are expected to migrate within 24 hours to avoid delay on mail delivery. On behalf of IT Support. This is a group email account and its been monitored 24/7, therefore, please do not ignore this notification, because its very compulsory.
Med Admin Team

What can you do? (Stop, Think, Click)

  • Don’t click on COVID-19-related or any links or attachments you receive via email or messaging apps unless it’s coming from a trusted source. That includes messages to personal email providers like Gmail
  • Don’t be fooled by legitimate-looking branding on messages you receive; unlike the example above there are some good fakes doing the rounds.
  • Cybercriminals will also often use language that conveys a sense of urgency, so be alert.
  • If you want COVID-19 news, use best practices by typing URLs into your web browser or using Google Search to search for sites
  • Don’t put your credentials into third-party sites unless you’re 100 percent sure you’re on the correct site
  • Report any suspicious messages to or contact IT Helpdesk  on 9594 7255 (select option 1)

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this
This website is for Monash Health employees. Please be mindful before sharing links.Learn more