The COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for individuals and businesses alike over the past year. Unfortunately, cybercriminals acted quickly to capitalize on the global crisis. Not only is cybercrime on the rise, but new trends are emerging that prey on our health anxieties and new quarantine habits.

1 in 5 people across the world have received a COVID themed phishing email. Here are two examples of these cyberattacks to be aware of:


1. Phishing: Harmful Links

Throughout the pandemic, there has been an increase in malicious actors pretending to be health care representatives – often from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As you can see from the image below, the link this scammer is trying to get you to click appears as though it will take you to a CDC webpage. However, hovering over the link reveals it will take you to a completely different site (which is likely a convincing spoof of the CDC web page). The intention is to get you on the fake site to collect your personal credentials or infect your computer with malware.


Malicious Phishing Link Example


Cybercriminals have also been taking advantage of our new habits formed throughout the lockdown. People have been spending more time at home and on streaming services than ever before. As a result, there has also been a huge spike in phishing links posing as Netflix, YouTube, HBO, and others. Between March and July of 2020 alone, malicious URLs pretending to be Netflix increased by 646%.


2. Phishing: Harmful Attachments

Another kind of phishing attack to be aware of are ones that contain an attachment. Note the use of keywords such as “safety measures” and “preventive vaccines” that exploit our desire for health guidelines to keep us safe. This tactic is used to encourage you to open the attachment that will likely infect your computer with malware. In the example below a zip file with potentially malicious content is masquerading as a PDF.


Harmful Phishing Attachment


Key Takeaways

It’s important to recognize that these cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are expected to continue well into 2021 and beyond. It’s equally important to acknowledge that each member on your team acts as a human firewall and is your company’s last line of defence against cyberthreats.

Click here for 5 Tips to Spot Phishing Attacks that everyone should know.

While employee training is extremely important – the fact is that 90% of data breaches start with a phishing email. Your company data is too valuable to be left unprotected. This is where Omega Network Solutions can help by providing reliable and cost-effective IT Security Services.


  • Preventing malicious emails from entering your inbox with Omega Scrubber – our anti-spam and anti-virus service.
  • Blocking access to scam sites with our DNS Filtering Service.

Discover the Omega difference today by contacting us at or 416-322-0333. We look forward to hearing from you!