COVID-19 Attacks – Defending Your Organization

COVID-19 Attacks – Defending Your Organization


The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has caused widespread fear of the unknown and deadly aspects of this novel virus, generated growth in certain industries to combat it, and created a shift toward remote work environments to slow the spread of the disease. 

Defending Your Organization Against COVID-19 Cyber Attacks. In this webinar, AJ, and I describe COVID-19 attacks in January through March, the groups behind them, and key MITRE ATT&CK techniques being employed. We then discuss ways an organization can keep themselves safe from these types of attacks.

Pandemic Background

COVID-19 is a pandemic viral respiratory disease, originally identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019. At the time of the webinar, it had infected around 1.5 million people worldwide. Within the first month, cyber actors capitalized on the opportunity. 

COVID Attack Timeline

December 2019 - January 2020

At the end of December 2019, China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) that there was an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Within a month, the first cyber events were being recorded. Around January 31, 2020, malicious emails (T1566.001) using the Emotet malware (S0367) and a phishing campaign (T1566.001) using LokiBot (S0447) were tied to TA542 alias Mummy Spider. Emotet, in particular, was prolific. It originally started as a banking Trojan, then evolved into a delivery mechanism for an initial payload that infected sy ..