Right now, when people think of seamless, end-to-end message encryption, they’re likely to think of WhatsApp (which has over a billion users) or Signal (which developed the baseline open source encryption technology). There’s a good reason for this: five years ago, when Signal was launched, it offered a pioneering commitment to both privacy and ease-of-use. "The choices we’re making, the app we're trying to create, it needs to be for people who don’t know how to enable airplane mode on their phone," Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike said in a recent Wired article—and it seems like the project largely succeeding at setting a high standard for ease-of-use.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world is causing lightning-fast changes in almost all areas of our lives, and it can be hard for even the most diligent newsreaders to keep pace. As with any volatile situation, hackers are exploiting the fears and confusion over the virus to perpetrate phishing scams and gain access to sensitive information—but this isn’t a typical, run-of-the-mill crisis: on the one hand, things are so serious that some hackers have actually promised not to launch new ransomware attacks against any healthcare targets during the pandemic—on the other, the US is warning of an ‘unprecedented’ wave of coronavirus scams already in the works.
Of all the ways a hacker can gain access to your confidential business information, Business Email Compromise, or BEC, is one of the least well understood in the business community. There are many reasons for this, among them a lack of understanding of the role social engineering plays and the myriad ways a hacker can ‘obtain’ a legitimate company email address to use to launch their attack.
So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world a myriad of flaws, risks, and vulnerabilities in the everyday systems and behaviors that we take for granted. This extends to healthcare infrastructure in much of the world, obviously, but it applies just as strongly to the global supply chain, telecommunications networks, and cybersecurity. Toilet paper and hand-sanitizer shortages are rampant (at least in the US), remote work is taking a tremendous toll on existing mobile and Wi-Fi networks, and phishing attacks aimed at a nervous and wary populace are on the rise.