The Future of Zero Trust and SASE is Now! Register now

The platform of the future is Netskope

Intelligent Security Service Edge (SSE), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Cloud Firewall, Next Generation Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Private Access for ZTNA built natively into a single solution to help every business on its journey to Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture.

Go to Products Overview
Netskope video
Next Gen SASE Branch is hybrid — connected, secured, and automated

Netskope Next Gen SASE Branch converges Context-Aware SASE Fabric, Zero-Trust Hybrid Security, and SkopeAI-powered Cloud Orchestrator into a unified cloud offering, ushering in a fully modernized branch experience for the borderless enterprise.

Learn about Next Gen SASE Branch
People at the open space office
Designing a SASE Architecture For Dummies

Get your complimentary copy of the only guide to SASE design you’ll ever need.

Get the eBook
Embrace a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture

Netskope NewEdge is the world’s largest, highest-performing security private cloud and provides customers with unparalleled service coverage, performance and resilience.

Learn about NewEdge
Your Network of Tomorrow

Plan your path toward a faster, more secure, and more resilient network designed for the applications and users that you support.

Get the white paper
Your Network of Tomorrow
Netskope Cloud Exchange

The Netskope Cloud Exchange (CE) provides customers with powerful integration tools to leverage investments across their security posture.

Learn about Cloud Exchange
Netskope video
Make the move to market-leading cloud security services with minimal latency and high reliability.

Learn about NewEdge
Lighted highway through mountainside switchbacks
Safely enable the use of generative AI applications with application access control, real-time user coaching, and best-in-class data protection.

Learn how we secure generative AI use
Safely Enable ChatGPT and Generative AI
Zero trust solutions for SSE and SASE deployments

Learn about Zero Trust
Boat driving through open sea
Netskope achieves FedRAMP High Authorization

Choose Netskope GovCloud to accelerate your agency’s transformation.

Learn about Netskope GovCloud
Netskope GovCloud
  • Resources chevron

    Learn more about how Netskope can help you secure your journey to the cloud.

  • Blog chevron

    Learn how Netskope enables security and networking transformation through security service edge (SSE).

  • Events & Workshops chevron

    Stay ahead of the latest security trends and connect with your peers.

  • Security Defined chevron

    Everything you need to know in our cybersecurity encyclopedia.

Security Visionaries Podcast

Cookies, Not Biscuits
Host Emily Wearmouthas sits down with experts David Fairman and Zohar Hod to discuss the past, present, and future of internet cookies.

Play the podcast
Podcast: Cookies, Not Biscuits
Latest Blogs

How Netskope can enable the Zero Trust and SASE journey through security service edge (SSE) capabilities.

Read the blog
Sunrise and cloudy sky
SASE Week 2023: Your SASE journey starts now!

Replay sessions from the fourth annual SASE Week.

Explore sessions
SASE Week 2023
What is Security Service Edge?

Explore the security side of SASE, the future of network and protection in the cloud.

Learn about Security Service Edge
Four-way roundabout
We help our customers to be Ready for Anything

See our Customers
Woman smiling with glasses looking out window
Netskope’s talented and experienced Professional Services team provides a prescriptive approach to your successful implementation.

Learn about Professional Services
Netskope Professional Services
The Netskope Community can help you and your team get more value out of products and practices.

Go to the Netskope Community
The Netskope Community
Secure your digital transformation journey and make the most of your cloud, web, and private applications with Netskope training.

Learn about Training and Certifications
Group of young professionals working
  • Company chevron

    We help you stay ahead of cloud, data, and network security challenges.

  • Why Netskope chevron

    Cloud transformation and work from anywhere have changed how security needs to work.

  • Leadership chevron

    Our leadership team is fiercely committed to doing everything it takes to make our customers successful.

  • Partners chevron

    We partner with security leaders to help you secure your journey to the cloud.

Supporting sustainability through data security

Netskope is proud to participate in Vision 2045: an initiative aimed to raise awareness on private industry’s role in sustainability.

Find out more
Supporting Sustainability Through Data Security
Highest in Execution. Furthest in Vision.

Netskope recognized as a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge.

Get the report
Netskope recognized as a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge.
Thinkers, builders, dreamers, innovators. Together, we deliver cutting-edge cloud security solutions to help our customers protect their data and people.

Meet our team
Group of hikers scaling a snowy mountain
Netskope’s partner-centric go-to-market strategy enables our partners to maximize their growth and profitability while transforming enterprise security.

Learn about Netskope Partners
Group of diverse young professionals smiling

Blogspot Serves as a COVID-19 Scamming Hotspot

Aug 26 2020

Attackers were quick to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic, with coronavirus-themed phishing campaigns, Trojans delivering ransomware and backdoors, and other scams. Netskope Threat Labs have been keeping a close eye on the threat landscape and tracking COVID-related campaigns throughout this unprecedented time.

This blog post details a COVID-19 relief package scam that has been active since April 2020. The attacker has recently registered new domains from which they are hosting the scam. The attacker’s use of social media—leveraging victims to actively share the scam with their contacts—has contributed to the scam’s longevity. Every version of the scam is based on the same template, helping the attacker to pivot to new cloud services and hosting providers when necessary. The attacker behind this campaign has hosted multiple similar scams, each targeting victims in specific countries, with some of its infrastructure hosted in Google’s Blogger service on This post provides a breakdown of the scam and the blogger profiles behind it. 


During August 2020, Netskope Threat Labs discovered two newly registered domains—https://fundzforcovid19[.]com and https://fundsforcovid19[.]com—being shared in WhatsApp messages. Both the websites presented a fake Government Lockdown Funds page as shown in Figure 1.

Screenshot showing Fake Government Lockdown Funds page
Figure 1: Fake Government Lockdown Funds page

The webpage shared similarities to the news published by The Quint in May 2020: a viral message floating around on WhatsApp claiming that the government is giving a “free” relief fund of Rs 5,000 to each Indian citizen amid the coronavirus lockdown.

During our analysis, we discovered this scam was also being spread through Facebook, and that the attackers responsible have launched similar variants targeting victims in different countries, including Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda.

We tied these attacks together based on the template and a profile hosting scam pages in Google’s Blogger service on 


The longevity of this scam can be attributed to its use of social media. It is primarily distributed via forwards on Facebook and WhatsApp, like the message shown in Figure 2. In the week before posting this blog, I myself received messages like this from 10 different contacts in WhatsApp.

Screenshot of a WhatsApp forward of the scam
Figure 2: WhatsApp forward of the scam

Upon visiting the website, https://fundzforcovid19[.]com, the victim is presented with a Government Lockdown Funds page with this message, “This offer is limited only till 2 25th of August .. Hurry!! So far 105314 users have received their Rs.5,000 Lockdown.” The message contained a typo, “till 2 25th August,” and the user’s number was incrementally randomized with a counter timer. The date is static, indicating the attacker will likely alter the text after the 25th passes.

The victim then fills out a short questionnaire and is prompted to share the message to WhatsApp groups using the “Share Now” option to claim the money as shown in Figure 3.

Screenshot showing message shoowing
Figure 3: Messages displayed on visiting https://fundzforcovid19[.]com

The page also displays fake Facebook messages that users have received the money in their bank account. This message has to be shared across WhatsApp groups to receive the cash, thus continuing the spread of this scam 

The sharing is invoked via the function var walink = “whatsapp://send?text=”+WhatsApp_share_message+Share_link. Upon sharing more than 9 times, the victim is presented with another webpage, https://fundsforcovid19[.]com/2.html?, as shown in Figure 4.

Screenshot showing code redirecting victim to https://fundsforcovid19[.]com/2.html?
Figure 4: Victim redirected to https://fundsforcovid19[.]com/2.html?

On visiting the new website, the victim is presented with a message to input the account number and the bank as shown in Figure 5.

Screenshot showing message displayed on visiting  https://fundsforcovid19[.]com/2.html?
Figure 5: Message displayed on visiting https://fundsforcovid19[.]com/2.html?

On entering the details and clicking on the “Claim Now” option, the victim is directed to the website, http://itnuzleafan[.]com/4/3317123, which serves up unwanted ads but does not store the victim’s credentials. The scam appears to be solely to collect ad revenue and not to phish for bank account numbers.  

Attacker’s details in the webpages

We discovered 42 similar scam themes targeting different regions and identified two interesting details in the source of the webpage. 

The first one was the usage of the Google Forms page in the website for people who wanted to buy the script used in the scam as shown in Figure 6.

Screenshot showing Blogger profiles in the webpage source
Figure 6: Blogger profiles in the webpage source

Upon visiting the profiles, we identified the blogger profile, https://www.blogger[.]com/profile/12159650279331051658, hosted multiple similar scams as shown in Figure 7.

Screenshot showing Blogger profile containing the scam links
Figure 7: Blogger profile containing the scam links

At the time of analysis, the profile contained 23 scam links with a majority of them posing as a COVID-19 lockdown relief package. The profile has been active since April 2020 which suggests that the scam operation likely started at that time. 

As the webpages are hosted in blogspot[.]com they carried a trusted certificate verified from Google Trust services. The other non-blogger domains had valid SSL certificates issued by LetsEncrypt. Alongside this, none of the websites were detected or blocked by security scanning services in popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.


Attackers are always on the hunt taking advantage of the news with high media attention as lures. The COVID-19 relief package scam is a classic example. Alongside this, scams and phishing campaigns are using cloud services to evade blocklists and appear legitimate (also covered in our previous work on Old Scams Getting New Life in the Cloud). Users should be able to recognize the services commonly used for these scams and be wary of messages shared through social media and instead look for official government communication for authenticity. Netskope reported the phishing sites to the Blogger Security team and also notified WhatsApp about this scam on August 19, 2020.



author image
Ashwin Vamshi
Ashwin Vamshi is a Security Researcher with innate interest in targeted attacks and malwares using cloud services. He is primarily focusing in identifying new attack vectors and malwares, campaigns and threat actors using ‘cloud as an attack vector.’

Stay informed!

Subscribe for the latest from the Netskope Blog