The coronavirus-related cyberattacks against providers and how hospitals can respond

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, so have the number of coronavirus-related cyberattacks against physicians and consumers. These cyberattacks are coming in various forms, including phishing emails, fake text messages and malicious apps.

A fake app claiming to have information on the spread of the coronavirus is increasingly being downloaded. The app is called “corona live 1.1” and shows information from Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker. However, when the app is downloaded, spyware infects the user’s device. The hackers could then access the device’s photos, location and other media files.

Physicians from hospitals across the country reported that they have received text messages with false information about the coronavirus and the government’s response plans.

Mitch Parker, chief information security officer at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis is working to control the spread of cyberattacks and misinformation.

“We’ve been working with our corporate communications team to continually inform our users on what current threats are, how to report them and where they can find credible information,” said Mr. Parker to Becker’s Hospital Review. “We’ve also been ensuring that any new processes we put into place to support our efforts meet our privacy and security requirements. We’ve observed that a number of organizations are having to address supply chain and teleworking issues, and helping to move a large portion of the work to home or off-site.”

Cybercriminals are exploiting public fears of the novel coronavirus with phishing schemes and malware attacks. Hackers have started to trick people into visiting malicious websites of phony maps displaying the spread of COVID-19 to infect their computers with malware.

There are no signs of these cyberattacks stopping, meaning hospital staff must remain vigilant to avoid falling victim.

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