The federal government has been ongoing an investigation on the cyberattack that happened to the U.S. Health and Human Services, or HHS, Department. This attack occurred on March 15th, and federal professionals suspect that it was coming from a foreign source. The hackers were making a move to overload the HHS servers but ultimately failed. However, this cybersecurity threat caused the spread of false information about how the government is going to issue a national quarantine. The U.S. National Security Council posted a tweet soon after that made it clear that this wasn’t true. They also mentioned that “@CDCgov has and will continue to post the latest guidance on #COVID19.”
Not only is the HHS at risk, but other corporations and even individuals should take precautions against potential cyberattacks. Professionals urge organizations to practice corporate cybersecurity awareness. There are various scams online that take advantage of the fear surrounding COVID-19. As for the cybersecurity threat against the HHS, the Trump administration hasn’t identified the felons who committed this federal crime. Regardless of the spread of false information, no data has been leaked or stolen. The U.S. wasn’t the only country under cyberattack related to the pandemic; the Czech Republic had a hospital network delay a significant number of coronavirus test results due to hackers.
According to Kevin Bocek, this is just the beginning. He said that “[t]he attack…is a clear sign that we’ll soon face a cyberattack crisis in addition to the coronavirus pandemic.” These threats don’t even have to be related to COVID-19; it could happen while occupied businesses are dealing with this new global illness. Those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 cyber scammers are the ones who believe the false information that various individuals, talk shows, well-known sources, and more spread about the virus. Even cybersecurity professionals can fall victim to scams, a comment shared by Ilia Kolochenko. Kolochenko, the CEO of Immuniweb, warns that we must be aware of hackers that will try to cause chaos and confusion on a global level.
Hackers are continually finding sneaky ways to infiltrate various online systems. Because it’s happening faster than the federal government can keep up, everyone must increase their awareness to try and slow their devious efforts. Significant factors that play into this are “human judgment and action,” also remarked by Kolochenko. Those two elements can make things more complicated as far as pandemics go. It’s common to feel fear and stress from all that is happening, which can make it much easier for hackers to take advantage. Some good practices would be finding more productive ways to handle negative emotions during these tough times, staying informed from trusted sources, and resisting the urge to act without thinking.