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Cybersecurity Group Actively Fighting COVID-19 Hacks

Mar 30, 2020 1:00:00 PM

The pandemic we're facing seems to bring the best, and worst out of people. While some will prey on others who show signs of vulnerability, others go to bat for those who cannot fight back or cannot spare the resources themselves. The COVID-19 CTI League consists of a group of 400 cybersecurity volunteers spanning from more than 40 countries who’ve pledged to fight these pandemic-related hacks.

The League

The league has pulled various large names from companies such as Amazon and Microsoft in to help. Their management team consists of Ohad Zaidenberg, founder of the league and a lead intelligence researcher at ClearSky Cyber Security, Nate Warfield, a Microsoft team member researching network security and cloud-scale attack campaigns, Chris Mills, Microsoft team member dealing in privacy and security response, and Marc Rodgers, the vice president and cybersecurity strategist for Okta.

Just nine short days after Zaidenberg founded the league, they have assembled hundreds of volunteers world-wide. Most of which have full time jobs, yet have dedicated their spare time and resources to helping the greater good. This group has made it their mission to identify, analyze and neutralize all COVID-19 related cyber threats. Members of the group will continue to utilize their collective expertise within the cyber realm to put an end to Coronavirus-related hacks, scams, and schemes, including the recent uptick in phishing attempts.

Nothing New

While no new techniques have been developed by those who seek to take advantage of the public’s panic, the story has shifted. The same schemes that have been run for years now have a new narrative: COVID-19.

The volunteers look for these said schemes, and while the group won’t elaborate on what exactly that looks like or comment on their recent successes, “we’re here to support the medical sector, to prevent attacks, to help them handle and mitigate attacks,” Zaidenberg said. “When the pandemic became a global crisis, I understood these malicious activities can cause deaths. I thought that we, the cyber threat intelligence community, should stop sitting on the fence and volunteer to help the medical sector. We established this community to do it.”

The group has allocated and dedicated much of its limited resources to the medical field, ensuring that hospitals and medical businesses have all of the supplies and reduced risk during these stressful times. According to CTI’s website, “at this most sensitive time we are prioritizing front-line medical resources and critical infrastructure.”

At the end of the day, groups like these restore the hope and faith of the world. “Moreover, the community allows us to create a network of goodwill — a network of people that want to share information and help each other during this crisis,” Zaidenberg added. “In such days that every country closes its borders, we open it virtually.”

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