The pandemic has led to an explosion of phishing attacks in which criminals try to trick users into revealing personal data, says Google
While the world is going through the plight of fighting with the pandemic, internet scammers are sending on average 18 million hoax emails about Covid-19 to Gmail users every day, according to Google.
The tech giant says the pandemic has led to an explosion of phishing attacks in which criminals try to trick users into revealing personal data, reports BBC.
The company said it was blocking more than 100 million phishing emails a day. Over the past week, almost a fifth were scam emails related to coronavirus.
The virus has now become the biggest phishing topic ever, tech firms say.
Google users are being sent a huge variety of emails often imposter responsible authorities such as WHO, authority from US officials or Governor's office etc in order to persuade them for downloading software or donate to bogus causes.
Cyber-criminals are also attempting to capitalise on government support packages by imitating public institutions.
The growth in coronavirus-themed phishing is being recorded by several cyber-security companies. Google claimed, its machine-learning tools are able to block more than 99.9% of emails from reaching its users.
"Phishing attacks always share the common trait of inciting or depending on an emotion that causes us to act more hastily or think less about our actions at that moment in time," said independent security researcher Scott Helme.
"The coronavirus pandemic is a highly emotional topic right now and cyber-criminals clearly know this. They're hoping that the typical person might be more inclined to click through links or follow bad instructions if they use this lure."
Researchers have also found malicious websites and smartphone applications based on genuine coronavirus resources.
One malicious Android app claims to help track the spread of the virus, but instead infects the phone with ransomware and demands payment to restore the device.
Last week, the National Cyber Security Centre and the US Department of Homeland Security issued a joint advisory.
They said they had seen "an increasing number of malicious cyber-actors" that were "exploiting the current Covid-19 pandemic for their own objectives".
The NCSC has published advice on its website to help people avoid becoming the victim of a scam.