COVID-19 Threat Report details notable cyber schemes prevailing over current cyber threat landscape

June 17, 2020
New 4iQ report shows an uptick in nation-state disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks on healthcare sector amid COVID-19

LOS ALTOS, Calif., June 16, 2020 – 4iQ, a leader in Adversary Intelligence, has released its COVID-19 Threat Report, which explores a host of notable scams that have surfaced during these uncertain times, including sextortion/blackmail emails, fake news, ransomware and phishing campaigns.

In this report, 4iQ describes trends that have emerged in the wake of COVID-19. Beyond just highlighting notable cyber-attacks, the report offers insight into who is committing these cybercrimes, and why. As the globe experiences stark changes affecting people’s lives, it is important to take heightened precautions and be more vigilant of suspicious activity.

"It has been well documented that cybercriminals are exploiting all the fear and uncertainty that comes with COVID-19,” said 4iQ co-founder and CTO Julio Casal. “Of course, the outbreak is impacting our physical sphere, but the risk narrative in cyberspace is alarming, too. This report offers insights into specific cyber threats that are most prevalent at this time, and the effect they have on consumers and businesses worldwide." Key Findings in the Report Include:

  • 4iQ has observed numerous fake news/hoax campaigns that seek to destabilize countries in the international arena, influence the stock market or affect the public’s perception of global governments and/or political parties.
  • Hacker groups have targeted entities within the healthcare sector with ransomware campaigns.
  • Phishing campaigns continue to make headlines, as cybercriminals send virtual messages masquerading themselves as legitimate organizations targeting hundreds of millions of institutions each day.
  • As the majority of the global population has been home seeking alternative methods of communication and entertainment, 4iQ has seen a surge in downloaded social media applications, which has created a lot of traction on underground forums.
  • There has been a significant increase in registered suspicious coronavirus-themed domains.

"Although several prominent ransomware groups have pledged to avoid targeting healthcare organizations during this pandemic, other threat actors are still taking full advantage of this situation, from script kiddies to professional and state-sponsored hackers," said Alberto Casares, VP of Threat Research. “Further, when comparing pre-outbreak and post-outbreak, we found a significant rise in the number of threads, items offered for sale, and hacking information related to COVID-19 on deep and dark web forums."

By leveraging the 4iQ IDLake™ – the world’s most accurate, robust source of curated identity records – 4iQ is able to raise global awareness towards these crimes, unmask nefarious actors behind scams, and assist in reducing the risk created from exposed identities found in open sources on the surface, social, deep and dark webs. Click here to download the report.

About 4iQ 4iQ is an adversary intelligence company on a mission to empower intel analysts, security researchers, and criminal investigators with capabilities to discover, uncover, and disrupt adversaries. The 4iQ IDLake™ archives more than 25 billion identity records collected from data breaches and leaks found in open sources, on the surface, social and deep and dark web. It powers 4iQ IDHunt™, a pioneering identity intelligence and attribution analysis solution used by Fraud Investigation Units, Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Intel Units, and advanced Security Operations Centers. The 4iQ IDLake™ also powers 4iQ IDTheft™, used by some of the largest Identity Theft Protection service providers, security vendors and Enterprises to alert millions of consumers of exposed personal information, prevent account takeover and identity theft. 4iQ is headquartered in Los Altos, CA and backed by Forgepoint Capital, C5 Capital, Adara Ventures, and Benhamou Global Ventures. Please visit