10 Mar 2020

Cyber criminals taking advantage of Covid-19 coronavirus

11:01 am on 10 March 2020

An IT expert is warning of a greater risk of cyber attacks as more people are forced to work from home during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

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Photo: 123rf

Unprotected devices could lead to the loss of data, breaches of privacy and systems held to ransom.

New Zealand Health IT chief executive Scott Arrol told Morning Report he was already seeing targeted campaigns.

"We are already seeing targeted phishing campaigns globally ... the cyber virus taking advantage of the biological virus."

He said others seeking to exploit people's fears of Covid-19 are sending fake ads or links with online viruses.

"It could be on social media, they could be emails direct to your inbox - enticing you to register," he said.

"The site might look like it has come from the World Health Organisation inviting you to register for more information ... you click on that link, you'll be taken to fill out a form and then suddenly you're giving out passwords potentially, you're giving away personal information you shouldn't. You think you're giving it to a legitimate source but you're not."

Arrol said the best way to avoid them was to stay cautious and use trusted sources.

Those working from home should make sure their home PC was hooked up to the same security protocols as used at work, he said.

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