Cyber for Plan Sponsors

North Korean COVID-19 Phishing Scandal Targets US


Security experts are sounding the alarm on a multi-country North Korean phishing effort created to sponge off of government COVID-19 bail-out initiatives. Pyongyang’s Lazarus Group’s latest operation is designed to “impersonate government agencies, departments, and trade associations who are tasked to oversee the disbursement of the fiscal aid,” states cybersecurity firm Cyfirma. The campaign was projected to launch over the weekend in the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, India, and South Korea.

Researchers claim to have spotted seven different email templates pretending to be government departments and institutions, such as the US Department of Agriculture, the Bank of England, Japan’s Ministry of Finance, and Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower.

The group will apparently snag millions of email addresses and business contact details targeting their victims using these fake domains. In most of these instances the phishing messages will claim to be offering a novel government-backed business support payment.

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