Combat Online Vaccine Registration Scams With Better Cybersecurity Measures | Hacker Noon

In this tech-orientated world, everything is prone to digitization. Simultaneously, cyberattacks are evolving with these technological advancements. Did you know that every single day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated by human beings? This data is at risk of data breaches as hackers are evolving at a continuous pace. The year 2020 broke all the data breaching records and numerous organizations faced miscellaneous cyberattacks. The whole world is revolutionized during the pandemic of COVID-19. FTC claimed that almost 1.4 billion identity theft reports were discovered last year.  

Recently, online scams persuading victims with promises of vaccines are indulging. Since the first vaccine started to roll out almost a couple of months ago, researchers concluded that 530 percent growth in scams is observed that involves stealing of individuals’ personal information by developing fake websites for vaccine registration.  These scams are the latest cybercrime encountered during coronavirus. Researchers also claim that hackers take advantage of frustration and confusion encountered because of the pandemic to prey on victims around vaccine registration. 

The vice president at Palo Alto Networks of threat intelligence, Ryan Olsen claims that, 

“The process that involves signup and user registration for coronavirus vary from place to place. It is very easy for hackers to replicate that system accurately especially when you have no idea what to expect from the system.” 

Scammers Are Preying Upon Healthcare Providers 

189 percent of evolution is observed recently in information stealing and identity frauds in which scammers utilize pharmacies and health infrastructures to trick patients and customers. This immense evolution is prominently observed between December 2020 and February 2021.

Researchers’ analysis depicts that these scams encounter after imitating Microsoft login pages to set prey on pharmaceutical employees in numerous countries as well as the United States. Hackers are after the personal data of patients as well as company information regarding vaccines. In addition to that, the Homeland security department has notified scammers aiming to disrupt the vaccine supply chain. 

Cyber Insecurity 

According to the Kerb on Security’s Kerb report, hackers tend to send suspicious emails in order to steal passwords. The state controller’s office, a spokesman for the government agency claimed that the employee’s personal data was not threatened in a cyberattack.

Jeniffer Hanson, SCO spokeswomen, declares that, 

“As a result of a spear-phishing attack, a single employee email was briefly compromised and disabled prominently. SCO generated an alert about the contracts of employees who might receive suspicious emails from unauthorized users. Team members of SCO have recognized all personal information included in the exposed email account and initiated to notify affected parties.”

Software Security Standards Are On Their Way 

The acting director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Bradon Wales, claimed that the government is just a few weeks away from the incorporation of some beneficial cybersecurity standards, aiming at enhancing security protocols for widely used software products. 

At a conference which was hosted by a cyber initiative group, Wales said that 

“There resides a lot more things as compared to what we can actually do. I believe that in the upcoming weeks, you will notice that the government has incorporated enhanced security protocols in numerous areas to combat illicit cyberattacks.”

A Group of industries and tech giants claims that the Trump administration rule blocking technology deals with adversaries for example china could leave an adverse impact on US businesses. They contended that the rule provides extreme broad authority to analyze and block suspicious technological transactions involving oppositions for example Russia and China. 

Moreover, trade group TechNet’s Peter Chandler wrote that, 

“This rule has implications on the entire technology sector if applied to the complete extent. For instance, secretory could

Exterminate the complicated planning and manufacturing of the most complex technologies of the word

Interrupt broad swaths of businesses

Disheveled supply chain.”

Great Practices For Cyber Immunity 

There a dire need of acquiring security measures considering the above-mentioned evolving cyberattacks and identity theft. Despite the crystal clean impact of disruptions to vaccine distribution, public trust must be gained by avoiding data breaches throughout the vaccine supply chain.  

Thankfully, below are some tremendous practices to acquire cyber immunity which can surely reduce vaccine-related cyber-attacks if applied on a broader scale. 

Multi-Factor Authentication

Implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is something that should never be neglected by organizations and individuals when it boils down to combating cyberattacks. This additional protective layer fights a strong battle against hackers which tend to seek effortless intrusions. 

Management of Vulnerabilities 

Numerous evolving cyberattacks exploit unpatched vulnerabilities. Assurance of automating the deployment of critical updates is crucial to all operating applications and systems. 

Endpoint Protection Platforms 

Endpoint protection platforms must be implemented across endpoints and networks for the assurance that hackers are detected the moment they enter the system. Threat hunting is conducted on a regular basis with the help of these platforms. The security team proactively keeps an eye on behavioral anomalies instead of relying on alerts. 

 Practicing Cautions

Hackers make profits from current occurring events such as coronavirus, known as social engineering attacks to trick potential victims into downloading malware and providing their personal information. The best practice to dodge such fraudulent activities is “think before you click”. Avoid clicking on hyperlinks if something seems skeptical. 


A network must be kept separate wherever it is possible. Traffic among organizations should be kept limited by imposing strict policies. For instance, individuals must utilize numerous routers networks at home, assigning one for professional activities and the other for personal activities. 

By Protecting Yourself, You Protect Others 

As the second wave of coronavirus is paving the way in this upcoming year, acquiring proper precautions is mandatory for everyone for self-protection and for the protection of people you love around you. Enhanced cybersecurity measures must be incorporated to combat identity theft and for the assurance, that vaccine is delivered to those who need that quickly with high-security protocols. Vigilance is the key when it boils down to cybersecurity. Being proactive is something that is mandatory as your reputation and digital health majorly depend on that.


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