Threat Management, Malware, Phishing, Ransomware

Treasury asks financial sector to watch out for COVID vaccine scams, ransomware


The United States Treasury's Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) asked the financial sector to watch for and report evidence of COVID-19 vaccine fraud, ransomware and other scams.

In a notice sent out Monday, FinCEN detailed for banks or other financial services organizations potential issues, asking the sector to be particularly attuned to ransomware attacks on distribution networks and the supply chains for the manufacture of vaccines. Other potential scams include fraudulent vaccines and phishing.

The financial industry is required by law to report suspicious patterns of transactions to FinCEN.

The notice details the proper procedure for notifying FinCEN about potential COVID-19 related issues.

Treasury is not the only government agency to issue warnings on COVID-related cyberthreats. FBI issued an alert earlier in the year. A report from Check Point earlier this year noted that the pandemic served as a catalyst for much of the hacking increases during the first half of 2020, with weekly COVID-19-related phishing attacks growing from under 5,000 in February to more than 200,000 in late April.

Joe Uchill

Joe is a senior reporter at SC Weekly, focused on policy issues. He previously covered cybersecurity for Axios, The Hill and the Christian Science Monitor’s short-lived Passcode website.

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