Security & Fraud

Hacker Hits Italy-Owned Bank's Emails, Data Breach Unknown

Italy's Monte dei Paschi was the victim of a cyberattack

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi was the victim of a hacking attempt, according to a notice seen by reporters recently, Reuters reported.

The state-owned bank did not comment but told clients in an email that the attack was on some of the employees' mailboxes. Some voicemail messages had been sent as attachments because of the attack.

The notice did not say there had been any breach of company data, and it didn't say if customers had lost anything or what the fraudulent emails had been asking for.

This attack is yet another example of the kind of cybercrimes committed during the coronavirus pandemic. Experts have warned over the past month that the confusion and disruption of the pandemic could be capitalized upon by hackers.

With governments imposing lockdowns to contain the virus, hackers have been known to pose as banks or other legitimate institutions to try to glean access to people's private information to use for nefarious means, such as identity theft.

Italian law enforcement officials said the country has seen a rise in this kind of activity. They have warned the populace to be wary of any suspicious-looking emails or other methods of contact.

Generally, the cyberattacks take the form of phishing scams with fraudsters sending emails purporting to be from legitimate and now-common institutions like Zoom or Microsoft, praying upon those working from home for the first time and hoping they'll click fraudulent links that scam them out of valuable information.

Elsewhere, Amazon has been working to stop price gouging and the sale of illegitimate items pretending to be cures for the virus or falsely posing as if they are official, approved protection measures. The eCommerce giant has been criticized for potentially benefiting from price-gouged sales, but spokespeople said the company is doing its best to remove illegitimate content.

The Better Business Bureau, in addition, has recommended consumers be extra vigilant against purchasing counterfeit face masks that are cheaply made and don't serve the purpose of shielding others from the virus.

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