April 7, 2020

Global cyberattacks are on the increase during the COVID-19 crisis as hackers take advantage of the flurry of information to target individuals.

Global cyberattacks are on the increase during the COVID-19 crisis as hackers take advantage of the flurry of COVID-19 information to target you. Here are two items to look out for and how to combat them so that you can protect yourself, your family and your business:

1) Growing number of emails with links to COVID-19 “Breaking News”

Hackers know that people are eager to consume new information about COVID-19. Some malicious emails may resemble federal agency messages (e.g., IRS, FEMA or SBA) with links to purportedly “official” information.

How to protect yourself: Refrain from clicking links whenever possible, as they can often contain malware that can grant hackers access to your computer or accounts. Instead, open your browser (or mobile phone app) to read the article directly on the news source website. SCAN13 calls this method “taking the scenic route.”

2) Growing number of emails requesting financial information for Federal “Stimulus” checks

Hackers know that many people won’t verify emailed requests for financial information (e.g., direct deposit, routing numbers or credit card numbers), especially if it looks “official.”

How to protect yourself: ALWAYS verify any emailed requests for financial information by calling the person/institution making the request. Remember: When calling to verify a financial transaction, ALWAYS dial the phone number that you already have on file for the person/institution, or one you can find on the institution’s official webpage. NEVER call a number provided in the emailed request, as hackers and scammers will often place false contact information so that they will receive your verification call.

SCAN13 is a nationwide business risk intelligence and mitigation company. SCAN13 provides C-Suites with visibility of current hacker targeting information, along with critical business controls to reduce risk of a disruptive event originating from their portfolio, vendor network or supply chain. It is an Aggie and veteran-owned business led by Brandon Neff ’99 (USAF and NSA) and Dr. Joe Tidwell ’99 (USMC). Feel free to contact SCAN13 leadership at info@scan13.com and please mention your Texas A&M affiliation.