The Latest: UN says cybercrime hindering pandemic response

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Cemetery workers bury 65-year-old Maria Joana Nascimento, whose family members, behind, suspect died of COVID-19, at Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Brazil is nearing 3 million cases of COVID-19 and 100,000 deaths. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations’ counterterrorism chief says a 350% increase in phishing websites was reported in the first quarter of the year and many of them targeted hospitals and health care systems, hindering their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Vladimir Voronkov told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the upsurge in phishing sites was part of “a significant rise in cybercrime in recent months.” He said global experts don’t yet fully understand “the impact and consequences of the pandemic on global peace and security, and more specifically on organized crime and terrorism.”

Voronkov also warned that extremists are taking advantage of the disruption and economic hardship brought by the pandemic to spread fear and division while trying to recruit followers.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— US deaths predicted at nearly 300,000 by Dec. 1

— Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for virus

— Dr. Fauci says public health safeguards slow virus; hopes for vaccine in 2021