Gmail blocks 18 Million spam emails related to COVID-19 per day

On Friday, Google said it saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 last week, showing how bad actors work overtime to threaten people working from home and facing other constraints because of the pandemic. That's in addition to more than 240 million daily spam messages linked to COVID, said Google.

by Niranjani Jesentha Kumari Prabagararaj

Updated: Apr 17, 2020 14:40 IST

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Scamsters

Google said it keeps preventing more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching its users as the company's machine learning models developed to identify and filter such risks. The phishing attacks and scams Google is experiencing regular use of both fear and financial rewards to generate urgency in trying to prompt users to respond. Scamsters often impersonate official government agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) to solicit or distribute fraudulent donations.


This includes frameworks for distributing downloaded files that could mount backdoors, said Google. In addition to blocking these emails, we worked with the WHO to explain the importance of accelerated DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) implementation, and highlighted the need for email authentication to improve security.

Often scamsters seek to prey on packages of government funding and mimic institutions of government to phish small businesses, Google said. Google said it's introduced proactive monitoring of COVID-19-related malware and phishing through its workflow and systems. In certain cases, these threats aren't new — rather, they are existing malware campaigns that were simply modified to take advantage of the increased focus on COVID-19, the firm said. Google recommended best practices that people should stop uploading files that they don't understand. It is also recommended to test the integrity of URLs before providing login credentials or clicking on a connection. In general, fake URLs mimic real URLs and contain additional terms or domains, Google said.

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