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Hackers Are Using Remote Tools Against Us

As most of us begin another week of working from home, online communication platforms like Zoom and GoToMeeting are exploding with many new customers. As we reviewed some essentials to help you work from home more effectively last week, I wanted to remind you that security should always be top of mind.

One of the biggest headlines from cybersecurity experts and analysts around our current work from home situation is on video conferencing tools and the risks your team may now face when they’re starting to use them for the first time (or at least more regularly).

One of the biggest ways cybercriminals have gained traction hacking into networks is through Zoom and other videoconferencing logins.

Why Zoom and videoconferencing?

With videoconferencing tools, people are able to connect and gain more normalcy in their lives. In fact, I’ve heard of families using conferencing tools for birthday parties and other celebrations. My team has even used videoconferencing for a virtual happy hour. These tools have proven near-essential in the new working and socializing aspects of a shelter-in-place society.

The problem?

Hackers are seeing this as an opportunity to take advantage of people.

As more people sign up for Zoom accounts, businesses and individuals are infecting their computers with malware—some of which may reconnect to your office’s network and shut down your entire organization.

When you or someone you know logs into Zoom, there is a chance that you make a mistake typing in the URL. Hackers have bought up all derivations of typos surrounding websites offering videoconferencing services. If you were to, for example, go to,, or any other slight deviation from your intended website, you likely would land on a page that looks like Zoom, but is actually a decoy for a ransomware attack.

When your team visits, they download an executable file to install the software on their machine. These look-a-like websites have this very same-named Zoom.exe file. The problem? This file contains malware that will infect their computer and your entire network if you’re not careful.

As people start working from home and using online communication platforms such as Zoom in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the spike in usage by registering new fake “Zoom” domains and malicious “Zoom” executable files in an attempt to trick people into downloading malware on their devices.

For Zoom alone there are now over 1,700 new ‘zoom’ domains that were registered at the onset of the pandemic, nearly a quarter of which were registered in the past 7 days. That means 1,700 different ways your team could fall for a malicious trap that locks down your data.

How can you make sure your teams are secure?

To protect yourselves for threats like these, it’s critical that your applications are kept up to date. If you don’t have someone updating your software and patching your systems right now, this would most definitely be a good time to start (consider a free network security assessment to see what exactly you’ll have to do) .

Be on the lookout for emails from unknown senders and lookalike domains that contain spelling errors. As your team is starting to use new popular tools like Zoom, get them to be more skeptical than normal and have them carefully inspect that emails and links are legitimate (when in doubt search for the company website or look for a known contact instead of replying to an email or clicking on a link directly within an email.

Also, be wary of email attachments. Hackers are still using their old tricks with a twist. They are vying for emotion and finding new ways to get your employees to click.

The one takeaway from this crisis so far is we’re all getting distracted by new news and changing realities. If we keep some consistency to how we approach cybersecurity, we all will be in much better shape.

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