Healthcare Companies Targeted by Monkeypox Phishing Campaign

An alert was given to the healthcare and public health (HPH) industry regarding a Monkeypox phishing campaign directed at U.S. healthcare companies that tries to steal Office 365, Gmail, and other email account credentials.

Monkeypox is a remarkably transmittable viral disease due to a virus coming from the same specie as smallpox. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were nearly 66,000 cases discovered worldwide in today’s outbreak, and above 25,100 cases in the U.S. California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Georgia are the most severely impacted states, with the cases primarily limited to the LBGTQ+ community.

Malicious actors generally piggyback on important news reports and employ these ideas to perform persuasive phishing campaigns. Campaigns employing monkeypox baits were as a result bound to happen, and they are probably to proceed and grow in keeping with the growing numbers of cases. Monkeypox and COVID-19-linked phishing campaigns have a great success rate because there is substantial interest in the outbreak and problems with transmissions.

The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) says that these emails may be sent using the email account of an HPH-associated entity that has earlier been breached or from a non-HPH-connected entity. If a phishing email is dispatched from a trustworthy email account, there is an increased likelihood of reading the email.

The email messages offer necessary data regarding the recent monkeypox outbreak in America with the subject line, “Data from (Victim Organization Abbreviation): “Important read concerning -Monkey Pox- (Victim Company) (Reference Number).” The message states to please check the attached file about “Monkey Pox” for information. It is good information.

The emails titled a PDF file attachment, “MPV Update_070722F.pdf” though different names could likewise be employed. The attached file contains a malicious link that redirects the recipient to a Lark Docs webpage, which features an Adobe Cloud theme and gives a safe Xerox Scanner fax file to download. In case the user makes an attempt to download the document they will be redirected to another site, where the user is instructed to key in their valid email credentials to be able to read the file. When those credentials are keyed in, they will be gathered and utilized by the attacker to remotely view the user’s email.

Aside from bringing up an understanding of the monkeypox phishing campaign, healthcare companies ought to be giving frequent security awareness training to the employees on security recommendations, for instance, the value of establishing long, difficult passwords for all accounts, not clicking URLs or viewing attachments in unwanted email messages, and to simply get files from respected publishers. Security awareness training must include the phishing and social engineering strategies typically used by attackers, and it is suggested to furthermore carry out phishing simulations on the staff. Phishing simulations were found to substantially minimize susceptibility to phishing activities.

Several employees will still click on hyperlinks and view attachments in spite of training, thus it is vital to make certain that technical steps are carried out to secure against phishing, for example, spam filters to prohibit phishing emails, multifactor authentication for email accounts to stop unauthorized access to accounts utilizing stolen information, and web filters to prohibit malicious web pages.

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.