Cybercriminals will target vaccine programs

Cybercriminal networks will be preparing to target Covid-19 vaccination programs in a few days, and both citizens and law enforcement agencies should be on high alert, global law enforcement agency Interpol warned.

Interpol’s Orange Notice to its 194 member states comes as the UK becomes the first Western country to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine to be administered to groups of high risk, such as residential residents. later in December.

The advisory describes potential criminal activity coalescing around counterfeiting, theft, and illegal advertising of Covid-19 and flu vaccines, given that the pandemic has already triggered “unprecedented” opportunistic and predatory criminal behavior. . As previously reported, much of this activity has focused on the underground cybercriminal.

“As governments prepare to launch vaccines, criminal organizations plan to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains,” said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock. “Criminal networks will also target unsuspecting members of the public through fake websites and fake cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives.

“It is essential that law enforcement agencies are as prepared as possible for what will be an attack of all kinds of criminal activity related to the Covid-19 vaccine, which is why Interpol has issued this global warning.”

Interpol said that as more vaccines approach approval and distribution, other promising candidates include Moderna’s RNA-based vaccine and Oxford-AstraZeneca’s, which uses a genetically altered chimpanzee adenovirus, ensuring the integrity of the vaccine. supply chain and remove malicious websites that sell fake products. it will be essential.

He also called for coordination between law enforcement and health regulators, who will play a vital role in ensuring the safety of the public and communities at large.

Furthermore, Interpol said, if vaccination programs were to allow a return to normal in the near future, Covid-19 testing is likely to take on even greater importance, particularly on international travel, resulting in higher levels of fraud around to test kits.

The general public can better protect themselves from vaccine-related scams by adhering to basic cybersecurity hygiene. In particular, it is important to take special care when going online to search for medical equipment or drugs. Above all, always be vigilant and skeptical, and remember that if something seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

Interpol’s own cybercrime data shows that of the 3,000 online pharmacies it suspected of selling illicit drugs and medical devices, around 1,700 contained other cyber threats, including malicious phishing and spam software, that could be targeted by cybercriminals easy access to your own data, or that of your employer.

If you are looking for information on Covid-19, use only reliable sources such as the World Health Organization or the NHS. Never believe anything you see on Facebook or other social media sites because such platforms are vectors of misinformation and conspiracy theories sold by malicious and dangerous fantasies.

The National Center for Cyber ​​Security offers more cyber security guidance for individuals and families.

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