Nepal | August 03, 2020

Experts urge all to be digitally secure as phishing up 3 times

Anupama Angbo
Share Now:

Kathmandu

The whole world’s prime focus now is on the pandemic coronavirus with news and posts about the virus being updated every minute across the world. With the widespread use of digital media and Internet, people now have the luxury to stay updated as well as share news instantly. However, it is also true that the virus has become a keyword to lure users and expose them to fraudulent digital threats. The official site of World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that hackers and cyber scammers are taking advantage of COVID-19 pandemic by sending fraudulent email and WhatsApp messages that attempt to trick you into clicking on malicious links or opening attachments.

Ashok Gurung, Business Development Manager and Information System Auditor at Cryptogen Nepal, a cyber security company shares, “People want to keep themselves updated through news portals. Hackers, on the other hand, are always looking for trending and breaking news. This time, headlines related to the virus have become one of the easy methods for them to lure users and phish them.”

As per him, hackers can also build malicious websites to show latest updates on the virus with beautiful cosmetics that people can fall victim to.

Gurung informs that some organisations make dashboards to keep a track of COVID-19, which hackers can misuse to inject malware into computers or mobile phones. He says, “Some of such cases indicate that hackers are using this map to steal information of users including user name, password, credit card number and other information stored in the browser.”He terms the pandemic situation as ‘honeypot’ for hackers as it takes minimal effort to trap people easily.

“These days phishing attempts have gone up three times, while most of the common Internet platforms that are most vulnerable are social media sites, news portals, online banking and online payment gateway applications, government
websites,” he informs.

Chiranjibi Adhikari, Executive Director at One Cover shares, “Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber and Linkedin are used by cyber criminals to phish and scam users. One should be on the lookout for suspicious images and video links containing malware, which if clicked on, is resent automatically to other users as well.”

Warning against browsing new websites and URLs sent by people over email or social media instant messages that are beautifully designed, have interesting headlines, Gurung warns, “We should only follow legitimate and authentic news portals and websites for updates, check the complete URL before opening them. One should not go to any link/site mentioned in emails or messages even if it is sent by people one knows,  should not download applications from unknown sites, keep security options enabled in devices, and have a good endpoint protection software (anti-virus) installed, updated and working against viruses and malwares.” Adhikari adds, “The first defence against online scammers and hackers is to be aware about it. Users should be extra careful while going through things online as becoming digitally secure is also important during these pressing times.”

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 9, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Nepal’s COVID-19 count reaches 20,332 with 246 new cases detected on Sunday

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population has recorded 246 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Sunday, taking the nationwide count to 20,332. The new infections were confirmed after testing 8,861 specimens through PCR method across the nation in the last 24 hours. As of today, 391,27 Read More...

Suspected Boko Haram militants kill at least 13 in Cameroon

DOUALA: Suspected militants from Islamist group Boko Haram killed at least 13 people and wounded eight others in a grenade attack in northern Cameroon on Sunday, a security source and a local official told Reuters. The unidentified assailants threw a grenade into a group of people inside a camp f Read More...

Bihar cops unable to locate Rhea Chakraborty, tell her to stop playing hide-and-seek if she's innocent

KATHMANDU: Bihar Police has so far not been able to locate Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty for investigation in relation to the Sushant Singh Rajput alleged suicide case, and it has urged her to stop playing hide-and-seek if she is innocent. According to IANS, Director General of Bihar Police Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 246 new infections, 111 recovered, one death reported today

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on the coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 391,270 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, Read More...

Ellen DeGeneres mulling shutting down her talk show?

KATHMANDU: American comedian and TV show host Ellen DeGeneres is considering leaving her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show as an investigation into toxic workplace claims is underway. The 62-year-old talk-show host has been in talks with top executives from Warner Bros and Telepictures, the co Read More...

Adele surprises fans with unrecognisable transformation while praising Beyonce

KATHMANDU: English singer Adele seems unrecognisable in her new look — she has surprised her fans with a new picture showing off her weight loss in her latest post on Instagram while also praising fellow songstress Beyonce for her latest visual album Black Is King. In the post, Adele can be se Read More...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 17.85 million, death toll at 683,767

LONDON: More than 17.85 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 683,767​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 20 Read More...

Sean Penn ties the knot with girlfriend Leila George

KATHMANDU: American actor Sean Penn has tied the knot with his girlfriend Leila George. The 59-year-old star has taken his romance with 28-year-old George to the next step, according to philanthropist Irena Medavoy who announced the special and exciting news. According to ANI Irena, the wife of Read More...