The bad guys are attempting to take advantage of Australian fears of COVID-19 in 2021. The National Identity and Cyber Support Service of Australia and New Zealand ID Care recently warned of COVID-19 phishing attacks using deepfakes that is set to launch in 2021.

ID Care analysts stated that the cybercriminals will likely use COVID-19 vaccine as a target through the first half of 2021. “This is likely to lead to an increase in phishing scams, with the intent of scaring people into clicking on harmful links,” stated the service provider.

The bad guys could also take advantage through check-ins with QR codes. “And when you think of the information stored on there – your name, address and phone number – this information could be a honeypot for cyber criminals,” the service stated. It’s important to also be vigilant about deepfakes – a realistic video or audio recording of someone well-known that is computer generated. “And don’t believe every video clip you see of a famous person, whether it be a celebrity endorsing cryptocurrency or a President giving a “speech” via YouTube,” ID care said.

Fortunately, vaccine providers Pfizer and Moderna are already working in tandem with America’s Homeland Security department to prepare for incoming vaccine scams. It’s important to not open any links in email or reply to texts that you are unfamiliar with. ID Care is expecting the scammers to portray as health officials or government agencies, so do not release any personal information whatsoever.

With the new year already facing potential attacks, it’s important to continually educate your users of the latest threats. New-school security awareness training can teach your users how to analyze and report any suspicious activity in their day to day job functions.