Looking to capitalize on the current coronavirus scare, malware distributors have launched a new phishing campaign that targets global companies with emails that suggest that virus could disrupt shipping operations.

According to a Feb. 10 research blog post authored by Sherrod DeGrippo, senior director of threat research and detection at Proofpoint, the malicious actors have been sending the phishing emails to businesses whose supply chain operations and revenues could potentially be negatively impacted by the outbreak, which has reportedly killed more than 1,000 people and infected tens of thousands more. Such businesses manufacturing, industrial, finance, transportation, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic companies.

“Hi, I thought that this brief note in doc format on the Coronavirus and its impact on the Shipping industry could be of interest for you,” reads one recent sample phishing email, which included the subject line lure: “Coronavirus – Brief note for the shipping industry.”

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