Health and Healthcare Systems

Cybersecurity experts come together to fight coronavirus-related hacking

Iranian cybersecurity experts and members of Certfa Nariman Gharib (L) and Amin Sabeti check their messages as they work from their office in London, Britain January 7, 2020. Picture taken January 7, 2020 Coronavirus china virus health healthcare who world health organization disease deaths pandemic epidemic worries concerns Health virus contagious contagion viruses diseases disease lab laboratory doctor health dr nurse medical medicine drugs vaccines vaccinations inoculations technology testing test medicinal biotechnology biotech biology chemistry physics microscope research influenza flu cold common cold bug risk symptomes respiratory china iran italy europe asia america south america north washing hands wash hands coughs sneezes spread spreading precaution precautions health warning covid 19 cov SARS 2019ncov wuhan sarscow wuhanpneumonia  pneumonia outbreak patients unhealthy fatality mortality elderly old elder age serious death deathly deadly Tech technology science chemistry biology physics electricity electric power battery charge positive negative lab laboratory scientist fourth industrial revolution

The group is comprised of nearly 400 members, from over 40 different countries. Image: REUTERS/Raphael Satter

Joseph Menn
Reporter, Reuters
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Health and Healthcare Systems?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Global Health is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Global Health

  • A group of hackers has formed to tackle what experts believe to be unprecedented levels of phishing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The international group is comprised of nearly 400 members, from over 40 different countries.

An international group of nearly 400 volunteers with expertise in cybersecurity has formed to fight hacking related to the novel coronavirus.

Have you read?

Called the COVID-19 CTI League, for cyber threat intelligence, the group spans more than 40 countries and includes professionals in senior positions at such major companies as Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

One of four initial managers of the effort, Marc Rogers, said the top priority would be working to combat hacks against medical facilities and other frontline responders to the pandemic. It is already working on hacks of health organizations.

Also key is the defence of communication networks and services that have become essential as more people work from home, said Rogers, head of security at the long-running hacking conference Def Con and a vice president at security company Okta Inc OKTA.o.

The group is also using its web of contacts in internet infrastructure providers to squash garden-variety phishing attacks and another financial crime that is using the fear of COVID-19 or the desire for information on it to trick regular internet users.

“I’ve never seen this volume of phishing,” Rogers said. “I am literally seeing phishing messages in every language known to man.”

Phishing messages try to induce recipients to enter passwords or other sensitive information on websites controlled by the attackers, who then use the data to take control of bank, email or other accounts.

Rogers said the group had already dismantled one campaign that used a software vulnerability to spread malicious software. He declined to provide details, and said that in general the group would be reluctant to reveal what it was fighting.

Rogers said law enforcement had been surprisingly welcoming of the collaboration, recognising the vastness of the threat.

Rogers is a UK citizen based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Two other group coordinators are American, and one is Israeli.

“I have never seen this level of cooperation,” Rogers said. “I hope it continues afterwards, because it’s a beautiful thing to see.”

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Health and Healthcare SystemsFourth Industrial Revolution
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Feeding the future: why Renovation and Reinvention are key to saving our food system

Juliana Weltman Glezer

June 13, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum