Cyber criminals will use coronavirus tracing app for attacks

Nearly half of the UK public surveyed about the NHSX Covid-19 tracing app do not trust the UK government to keep their information safe from hackers.

According to a study carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Anomali, which examined consumer attitudes to the proposed tracing app, 43 per cent of respondents were concerned that the app would give cyber criminals the opportunity to send smishing messages or phishing emails.

Yet, only half felt they were savvy enough to differentiate between a legitimate email or text message and a phishing/smishing message. A further third of respondents are concerned that the app might allow the government to track their whereabouts, whilst 36 per cent are concerned that the app might allow the government to collect data on them.

According to the NHS website: “Contact tracing is a tried and tested method used to slow down the spread of infectious diseases. The NHS COVID-19 App automates the process of contact tracing. Its goal is to reduce the transmission of the virus by alerting people who may have been exposed to the infection so they can take action to protect themselves, the people they care about and the NHS.”

The study set out to gauge the trade-off between privacy and the ‘greater good’ and what people’s comfort levels are when it comes to the government tracking them. Though many demonstrated concerns over the government tracking them via the app and even more respondents unsure about the government being able to keep their information safe from hackers, there was also apprehension about being targeted by opportunistic cyber criminals.

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