Phishing email attacks related to COVID-19 were up 600% in Q1 2020, according to a new report from KnowBe4, a provider of security awareness training and simulated phishing platform.
According to KnowBe4’s Q1 2020 top-clicked phishing report, simulated phishing tests with an urgent message to check passwords immediately was most popular at 45%. Following this was a coronavirus-related message as the second most popular at 10%.
Social media messages are another area of concern when it comes to phishing. Within the same report, KnowBe4’s top-clicked social media email subjects reveal new login alerts, password resets and someone may have accessed your account messages are coming onto the radar.
“The bad guys are opportunists and they will use every chance they get to take advantage of people’s heightened emotions during crisis situations such as this one by trying to entice them to click on a malicious link or download an attachment laced with malware,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4.
“It’s no surprise that we’re seeing an explosion of phishing attacks related to the coronavirus because people are actively seeking more information about it. End users should be especially careful with any email they receive related to COVID-19 and immediately report suspicious looking emails to their IT department.”