As if we didn’t all have enough to manage these days, the “bad guys” on the Internet are taking advantage of the novel coronavirus situation and the upended work environment to step up their activities. So now even more than ever, we ask you to pay special attention to your IT security.

Here are some examples of what to watch out for:

Email Based Attacks

There has been a dramatic uptick in the frequency of broad-based phishing attacks as well as user-targeted spearphishing attacks. We are all receiving COVID19-related emails from government agencies, external vendors and business partners with whom we don’t normally correspond. This leads people to incorrectly trust email links and expose their systems to attack.

What to do: Use good judgement around links and attachments in your inbound email, and just because it’s coming from an email address you recognize that doesn’t mean it’s safe. If you’re a regular Seitel Systems client then we have your email system configured to protect you as best it can but not all threats can be filtered out. Be vigilant and practice good email hygiene.

Masquerade Attacks

With the uptick in remote working many users are being tricked into installing fake remote-access/VPN clients as well as remote meeting software onto their home systems.These fake clients promptly install malware, harvest credentials and otherwise cause damage.

What to do: Be sure to source your software from your internal IT team or a trusted vendor like Seitel Systems. Do NOT simply search the internet looking for the software to download.

Fake COVID-19 Apps and Maps

As users are scouring the internet for information about the pandemic, attackers are publishing fake Coronavirus coverage maps, dashboards and other information resources. These webpages are weaponized to deliver malicious payload to the underlying computer.

What to do: Source your information from known, reliable resources and again avoid blindly searching the internet for information.

Ransomware

While the attack vectors for Ransomware are varied – and they include all of the items listed above – the destructive nature of the ransomware attack cannot be overestimated.  Sophisticated attacks will not only encrypt the documents and data in your environment, they will also attack your backup system.

What to do: Do not underestimate the damage that can be done, so if you have any open action items with respect to security, ransomware protection or general system upkeep now is the time to get that sorted.

Zoom Meeting Attacks

With the increase in people working from home or at least remote locations, Zoom meetings have become very popular.  That increase has led to an increase in the number of attackers seeking to exploit its weaknesses.

What to do: Here are some helpful tips for staying safe and keeping your online meetings private:

  • When you create a meeting request, make sure you require participants enter a “waiting room” from which they are admitted to the meeting by the organizer.  This helps avoid so called “Zoom bombing” where uninvited guests find their way in. In lieu of a link – which above we recommend you not necessarily trust – please use your internet browser to access the Zoom help center and search for “Using a Waiting Room with Zoom Rooms”.
  • There are also reported cases of “pranksters” keying in random ten-digit meeting IDs and then screensharing content that… well, isn’t necessarily what you want to see in a Zoom meeting. this can be avoided by requiring a meeting password.  Again, go to the Zoom help center and search for “Meeting and Webinar Passwords”.
  • And finally, attackers are always trying to steal your company login and password. Even inside of a Zoom meeting please use extreme caution when clicking on links.  At the risk of getting too nerdy, Zoom will convert links to shared files into what look like internet addresses, and clicking on the link will transmit your username and password in a format that can, eventually, be decrypted by an attacker.  Friends don’t let friends click on links!

Be vigilant and ready act quickly if you see suspicious activity.

As an IT support firm in the Seattle area, we are keeping an eye on these emerging threats so that local businesses can swiftly navigate the unique challenges. In the event you suspect you may have clicked on something you shouldn’t have please act promptly – time is, literally, of the essence.

Existing Seitel Systems clients, if you have questions or concerns please follow your firm’s customary protocols for contacting our Service Desk. Also, for your protection you may find us taking additional steps to verify your identity when you call our Service Desk.

To all businesses who are not clients at this time but need some assistance setting up your teams with remote work technology, we are happy to help. That said, we need to prioritize our existing clients right now since they are facing unprecedented challenges. You’re welcome to subscribe to our mailing list so you’ll receive more updates like this one, and to reach out to our sales team if your business needs an outsourced IT support partner.

Thank you for your business and trust in Seitel Systems. Be well.