In The Know

Exploiting the Coronavirus: “New Approved Vaccines” Infect Your System with Malware


The COVID19 pandemic has led to many creative phishing attacks such as phony offers for free testing, claims that you have come in contact with an infected person, and even accusations that you have violated health and safety protocols. Scammers have come up with yet another Coronavirus-themed attack. This time, they are taking advantage of the worldwide race to develop a vaccine.


The phishing email uses the subject line “URGENT INFORMATION LETTER: COVID-19 NEW APPROVED VACCINES”. Within the email, you are directed to download an attachment to view this letter. The attachment itself is named “Download_Covid 19 New approved vaccines.23.07.2020.exe”. If you were to download and open this file, you would find that it is actually a piece of malicious software designed to gather data such as usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.


Don’t be fooled! Remember these tips:

  • Watch for sensational words like “URGENT”. Remember, the bad guys want you to panic and click without thinking.
  • Never download an attachment from an email you weren’t expecting.
  • Don’t trust an email. Instead, visit an official government website or a trusted news source for information on vaccine developments.


Stop, Look, and Think. Don’t be fooled.
The KnowBe4 Security Team