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US, UK warn of cyberattacks using virus as lure

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Britain’s National Cyber Security Center says criminals and what they call “persistent threat” groups are attempting to transmit ransomware and malware that are tied to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks in his office with French Treasury director Odile Renaud-Basso (L) during a break of a Eurogroup videoconference meeting of the eurozone finance ministers to discuss coronavirus response on April 7, 2020 at the French Economy ministry in Paris. - EU finance ministers hope to agree a coronavirus economic rescue package for the worst-hit member states on Tuesday, but will fall short of demands from beleaguered Spain and Italy. 
Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — U.S. and U.K. security agencies have issued a joint security warning about cyberattacks using the coronavirus outbreak as a lure.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Britain’s National Cyber Security Center says criminals and what they call “persistent threat” groups are attempting to transmit ransomware and malware that are tied to the COVID-19 outbreak. One example includes emails that purport to come from the World Health Organization. Others are phishing attempts that appear to come from Microsoft or other tech companies whose remote tools are often used by people working from home.

The statement says they have not detected an overall increase in cybercrime. But they have noted a growing use of malicious threats involving COVID-19 related themes.