Google has reportedly registered a huge increase in the number of phishing websites that have come online since the coronavirus outbreak.
That’s according to a new report from Atlas VPN, which saw the number of phishing websites spike by 350%. The company noted that a total of 149,195 active phishing websites were active in January, while in March a total of 522,495 had been registered.
Breaking down the figures, Atlas VPN said that Google registered a total of 149,195 in January, rising to 293,235 in February, before reaching the 522,495 figure as millions around the world transitioned to working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Findings also show that in March, websites containing coronavirus-related keywords already reached 316,523 cases.
Rachel Welsh, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on why the number of phishing sites sky-rocketed during the COVID-19 outbreak, “I believe that hackers identified coronavirus as something users are desperate to find information on. Panic leads to irrational thinking and people forget the basics of cybersecurity. Users then download malicious files or try to purchase in-demand items from unsafe websites, in result becoming victims of scams. ”
Additionally, the number of suspicious websites, containing COVID-19 related keywords peaked on March 21, hitting over 67 thousand with a total of 316,523 coronavirus-related phishing websites registered in March 2020.