Telcos raise watch over systems amid govt warning of phishing attacks using COVID-19 as bait

NEW DELHI: Telecom companies have elevated their vigilance of networks and techniques following the federal government’s latest warning on large-scale phishing attacks in coming days in opposition to people and companies, the place attackers could use COVID-19 as bait. In a safety advisory to its business-to-business prospects, Airtel stated it’s monitoring the scenario on a real-time foundation and has upgraded the safety operations centre to a better threat-level standing for the subsequent 5-7 days and promised to ship each day dashboards to prospects.

Airtel stated that because of the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, most workers are persevering with working from residence, and this additional will increase their vulnerability, notably to phishing assaults.

“These attacks threaten to not only disrupt critical business operations but also impact your brand’s reputation… To defend against this looming combination of threats, organisations need to take the necessary steps to fortify their cyber resilience framework,” it stated whereas urging prospects to provoke proactive steps to safeguard themselves in opposition to attainable assaults.

Citing varied reviews, Airtel warned that cyberattacks might be initiated by exploiting varied vectors equivalent to e-mail/ phishing assault, suspicious webpages, web hyperlinks, unpatched/ un-updated techniques related on community, id theft (poor ID administration).

It requested enterprises to observe proactive measures, together with steady monitoring of community visitors for all channels, which embody e-mail, web and others, enabling geo-location monitoring for visitors coming from neighbouring nations.

“If there is no business reason to receive such traffic, it needs to be blocked,” it stated additionally recommending that up to date patches be put in on all property and webpages, that are accessible through the web.

It has prompt that each one workers working from residence be suggested to replace the anti-virus and different software program patches, and consciousness communication be carried out at common intervals.

When contacted, Vodafone Idea spokesperson stated, “VIL’s robust and secure network and IT systems are periodically audited and further strengthened to keep our networks protected and customer data secure. Intelligence received from the Government of India is appropriately used to increase vigilance and enhance security.”

A Jio supply stated that the corporate has raised its vigilance ranges and is retaining an in depth watch on visitors.

Last week, India’s cybersecurity nodal company, CERT-In issued an advisory warning of the potential phishing assaults that might impersonate authorities companies, departments and commerce our bodies which have been tasked to supervise disbursement of presidency fiscal assist. The attackers are anticipated to ship malicious e-mails underneath the pretext of native authorities which might be answerable for meting out government-funded COVID-19 assist initiatives.

“Such e-mails are designed to drive recipients towards fake websites where they are deceived into downloading malicious files or entering personal and financial information,” Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had stated in its advisory dated June 19.

The advisory famous that the “malicious actors” are claiming to have two million particular person/citizen e-mail IDs and are planning to ship e-mail with the topic line ‘Free COVID-19 testing for all residents of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Ahmedabad’ in a bid to coax customers to reveal private data.

“It has been reported that these malicious actors are planning to spoof or create fake e-mail IDs impersonating various authorities,” it had cautioned.

CERT-In, in its advisory, outlined a listing of steps for customers to guard themselves, together with not opening attachments in unsolicited e-mails even when it comes from folks within the contact record.

It has requested customers to encrypt and shield their delicate doc to keep away from potential leakage. It additionally urged folks to make use of anti-virus instruments, firewalls and filtering providers and requested them to report any uncommon exercise or assault instantly to CERT-In.



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Tarun Banerjee

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