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Don't click on that 'Covid-19 medicine' link: UAE cops warn against new hacking scheme

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 17, 2020
covid-19, coronavirus, hacking, scam, online fraud, UAE, Ajman, Police, phishing, cybercrime

(Alamy image)

The warning comes after several complaints about hacking activities were filed recently.

If you receive any malicious link to some page about "Covid-19 medicines" or "secrets" to beating the disease, do not click on it, the Ajman Police warned. Such links can get devices hacked and accounts can be used for fraud. These may also allow cybercriminals to spy on residents, authorities said. 

The warning comes after several complaints about hacking activities were filed recently, police said. Cyber patrols are now investigating the cases and they vow to track down the criminals and refer them to court. 

"Hackers and fraudsters appeared to be taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to launch new phishing attacks," an Ajman Police official said. 

Authorities on Wednesday reminded the public to ignore any suspicious links, especially those that they receive on social media. Netizens should trust only authorised and official sources of information, they added. 

The UAE has clear laws against cybercrime, with stiff penalties that include imprisonment and fines of up to Dh3 million. 

Those caught getting information or tampering with a website, network or system without permission can be penalised with jail time and a minimum fine of Dh50,000, which can go as high as Dh1 million. 

Invasion of privacy is also a violation, for which cybercriminals can be jailed for six months and fined from Dh150,000 to Dh300,000. 

Other cybercrimes punishable by law include insulting religions, slandering officials, forging digital documents, reproducing credit or debit card data, and illegally obtaining PIN codes or passwords. 

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com

 

Afkar Abdullah


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