Some people just want to watch the world burn. That seems to be the reason behind the recent attacks on the US Health and Human Services Department website, which serves as a clearinghouse for information relating to the Coronavirus outbreak.
As the virus has spread, more and more people have been heading to the HHS.gov website for news, advice and information.
The hackers, seeing this, decided it would be great fun to bring the site down. As such, an as yet unknown group decided to launch a DDoS (denial of service) attack against it.
Fortunately, the attack didn’t have the desired effect, as reported by Bloomberg.
When their original plan didn’t bear fruit, the hackers shifted gears and began spreading rumors of a national US quarantine and causing the hashtag #quarantine to spike. Things got so bad that the National Security Council (NSC) sent out a tweet in an attempt to quash the rumor. The NSC stated emphatically that there is no national lockdown and that any text or tweet bearing the hashtag #quarantine was spreading disinformation.
Sadly, this has become an increasingly common occurrence. Hackers around the world are taking advantage of the Coronavirus in a variety of ways. They’re sometimes offering what appears to be health advisories that appear to come from legitimate sources in order to get malware installed on target systems.
In other cases, nefarious groups are offering to sell masks or miracle cures and collecting payment information from people desperate for those things. Naturally, once the payment information has been collected, no mask or cure is actually sent. Of course, the hopeful person who placed the order has to spend the next year or so of his or her life dealing with the fallout of identity theft.
Worst of all, we can expect to see a lot more of this as the pandemic grinds on. Make sure the people who report to you are aware and stay vigilant.