Concerns about COVID-19, or coronavirus, seem to have become as contagious as the virus itself, with headlines spreading across virtually every media outlet.  For example, CNN.com has over 1,200 articles mentioning the disease, and a search on the website of The Financial Times produces over 1,100 results.

As the virus spreads across the globe, people are naturally searching online for the latest information and updates on how it might affect them, and what they can do to protect themselves and their families. And as you might expect, cyber criminals have been quick to take advantage of these concerns for their own gain.

As we recently reported, hackers around the globe have found the Coronavirus serving them well as an enabler for their activities, and are still riding the wave of the epidemic. Our Global Threat Index for January 2020 shows that cyber criminals are exploiting interest in the global epidemic to spread malicious activity, with several spam campaigns related to the virus’s name.

Since January 2020, there have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains registered globally. Out of these websites, 3% were found to be malicious and an additional 5% are suspicious. Coronavirus- related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered at the same period, and also higher than recent seasonal themes, such as Valentine’s day.

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