Google announced in a blog post on Thursday (April 16, 2020) that it has successfully blocked 18 million malicious coronavirus-related emails from reaching Gmail users last week. The email scam is the same but goes out with different subject lines. These scams impersonate government organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to solicit donations, or trick users in downloading malware. The email language is pretentious to having information about government regulations on COVID-19 and workers who are working remotely. The spammer is quite pretentious and poses as the recipient’s employer.
The company said in the post, the 18 million daily malware and phishing emails are “in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages.”
The tech giant said it blocks the majority of those messages, but warned Gmail users that the hackers are trying to take advantage of the fear of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, to a certain extent, Google’s AI-powered protection filters the threat and blocks, “more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching our users.”
Furthermore, it is also working with the WHO (World Health Organization) to implement DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). It will make it tough for the scammers to impersonate the who.int domain while preventing legitimate emails from being caught in spam folders.
The Federal Trade Commission said it has received more than 15,000 coronavirus-related consumer complaints of fraud and scams so far, amounting to a huge loss of USD 12 million for the Americans. Add to it, hackers are trying to hit businesses with less secure IT infrastructure amid the remote work environments.
To help further, Google is trying to stop the malware attacks by releasing the best practices for organizations and users. It suggests admins to look at Google-recommendation defenses and points at improving security with proactive capabilities.