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Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Crime Investigation Department has issued a public advisory highlighting some of the common methods used by cyberspace fraudsters to execute illegal activities during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and also suggested several precautionary measures to prevent such frauds.

In the advisory issued by the Additional DGP (CID, Crime Branch) SK Priyadarshi, people have been sensitized about the modus operandi of the cyber attackers and suggested certain preventive measures for individuals and organizations to keep them away from these type of frauds.

Also Read: Covid-19 Info Half-Baked In Odisha, Time To Take A Leaf Out Of Kerala, TN , MP & Punjab

“The attackers are using various methods to exploit the fear and need for information related to Coronavirus amongst the people around the world,” stated the Crime Branch.

Some of the common methods used by the threat actors to target people and carry out frauds as mentioned by the CB are as follows:

  1. The fraudsters are sending fake and malicious documents (such as health advisories, Covid-19 management response documents and e-books) in the name of reputed and trusted sources like government agencies, world health organisation, etc.
  2. The criminals are creating fake and malicious websites and applications related to Coronavirus such as coronavirus maps, real-time coronavirus tracking system and details on corona anti-virus.
  3. They are running spam campaigns of selling masks masks, sanitizers and corona vaccines etc. on dubious ecommerce portals.
  4. The fraudsters are offering online sale of premium goods at unbelievable prices by announcing corona special offers.
  5. They are also sending e-mails and messages threatening people to infect their families with coronavirus in order to extort money.
  6. The Crime Branch advised to beware of the fake news, especially in Whatsapp, Telegram etc, related to Coronavirus that will trigger panic among the people.

The Crime Branch has also suggested certain methods which will help people prevent becoming a target of these cybercriminals.

  1. The Crime Branch has advised people to follow trusted sources such as government websites to get all updates related to Covid-19.
  2. Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal or financial information, even if asked over phone or in person.
  3. Download mobile applications from only official App Store and avoid granting any unnecessary permissions.
  4. The Crime Branch asked people to verify the credentials of charity campaigns and organisations that seek donations in the name of Covid-19.
  5. Exercise extreme precaution before opening e-mail attachments or clicking any links from unknown senders. Beware of phishing scams and take every possible precaution to avoid falling for scams.
  6. Organisations should ensure that the secure remote access technologies are in place and configured correctly, including the use of multi-factor authentication, so that all employees can conduct their work securely from home.
  7. Individuals should avoid using personal devises for work and if using, they should have the same level of security as a company-owned device.
  8. The advisory asked people to be cautious of the offers and discounts given in the name of Coronavirus and ensure they order goods from authentic sources instead of going through promotional links in mails and messages.
  9. Make sure your devices have latest security updates installed and also have good antivirus.

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