Marclay Associates Operational Update COVID-19

Executive Update 

With recent events developing rapidly due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, Marclay Associates feel that it is prudent to communicate the additional cyber threats that accompany a crisis such as this. 
As a cyber security consultancy Marclay recognize that, unfortunately, times of crisis (natural or not) are always seized upon by cyber criminals as an opportunity to attack. They understand that during events,such as the COVID-19 outbreak businesses normal security procedures and personnel are greatly reduced in their capacity and capability and thus make much easier targets. 

Our monitoring has identified that organized cyber groups have already been attempting to make the most of the situation with a range of phishing and malware attacks against individuals and companies already worried about the virus.(See fig 1,2,3)

Fig 1 – Fake WHO email attempting to infect victim accounts with malware
These attacks include:

Figure 1 – Posing as the World Health Organization and steal passwords.
Figure 2 – Sending malware (computer viruses) in email attachments about the outbreak.
Figure 3 – Tricking users into visiting websites about the outbreak which are infected with Malware.

Fig 2 – Malware contained in attachment

To combat this growing threat, we recommend that business employees and personnel ensure they remain vigilant against any communications they receive that are unusual or claim to be from an account of authority but is unexpected.

Anything that sparks concerns should be reported immediately to ensure containment can be quick and effective. Warnings to all employees should be communicated to ensure they understand the reporting procedure, especially whilst operating remotely,when normal security practices may be diminished or simply not known due to the unfamiliarity of the situation
Fig 3 – Malicious website delivering malware to site visitors

We urge everyone to be extra vigilant as hackers look to capitalize on this opportunity. 
In the event of any incident or concern please contact us on Tel: 020 3039 3394

Warmest regards
Jake Hockley
CEO Marclay Associates