Please be reminded of new COVID-19 themed email and text phishing scams circulating the networks.

A joint alert regarding the COVID-19 themed threats was released today from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Both CISA and NCSC are seeing a growing use of COVID-19-related themes attacks in the following forms:

  • Phishing, using the subject of coronavirus or COVID-19 as a lure,
  • Malware distribution, using coronavirus- or COVID-19- themed lures,
  • Registration of new domain names containing wording related to coronavirus or COVID-19, and
  • Attacks against newly — and often rapidly — deployed remote access and teleworking infrastructure.

If you receive an e-mail or text asking you to click a link related to COVID-19 and are not expecting the email, please check with the HSC Help Desk to validate the email.

Malicious cyber attackers are also seeking to exploit the increased use of popular communications platforms, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, by sending phishing emails that include malicious files with names such as “zoom-us-zoom_##########.exe” and “microsoft-teams_V#mu#D_##########.exe” (# representing various digits that have been reported online).

Additionally, attackers have been able to hijack teleconferences and online classrooms that have not been set up with proper security controls (e.g., passwords, waiting rooms, authenticated web portals such as SOLE).

Please remain vigilant of these continued threats over the next few months. If you have any questions, please contact the HSC Help Desk at or 304-293-3631.

— HSC Information Technology Services