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Tonya Ugoretz: FBI Sees Significant Rise in Cyber Threats Related to COVID-19

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Tonya Ugoretz
Tonya Ugoretz

Tonya Ugoretz, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s cyber division, said at least 20,000 reports of malicious emails, scams and other cyber threats related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lodged this year with the bureau’s internet crime complaint center, The Hill reported Wednesday.

“Already, here we are in the first or second week of June, the IC3 has already had as many complaints up to this point as they did for all of 2019, and that is for all types of internet fraud,” Ugoretz said Wednesday at a CrowdStrike-hosted virtual conference.

She noted that nation-state actors continue to target U.S. health care institutions performing research into treatments and vaccines against the disease.

“We have also seen other actors, including nation states, scanning for vulnerabilities, conducting reconnaissance, conducting intrusions, and attempting to steal data from those US universities and research institutions that are really focused on trying to deliver that research in response to the pandemic,” Ugoretz said.