Hackers trying to cash in on coronavirus
Among those not letting a global crisis go to waste: hackers. They still want your data (and money), and they are willing to take advantage of coronavirus tracking websites to get it. As online security reporter Brian Krebs writes:
In one scheme, an interactive dashboard of Coronavirus infections and deaths produced by Johns Hopkins University is being used in malicious Web sites (and possibly spam emails) to spread password-stealing malware.
Late last month, a member of several Russian language cybercrime forums began selling a digital Coronavirus infection kit that uses the Hopkins interactive map as part of a Java-based malware deployment scheme. The kit costs $200 if the buyer already has a Java code signing certificate, and $700 if the buyer wishes to just use the seller’s certificate.
“It loads [a] fully working online map of Corona Virus infected areas and other data,” the seller explains. “Map is resizable, interactive, and has real time data from World Health Organization and other sources. Users will think that PreLoader is actually a map, so they will open it and will spread it to their friends and it goes viral!”
Which is both despicable and entirely predictable. Krebs adds:
It’s unclear how many takers this seller has had, but earlier this week security experts began warning of new malicious Web sites being stood up that used interactive versions of the same map to distract visitors while the sites tried to foist the password-stealing AZORult malware.
As long as this pandemic remains front-page news, malware purveyors will continue to use it as lures to snare the unwary. Keep your guard up, and avoid opening attachments sent unbidden in emails — even if they appear to come from someone you know.
That's excellent advice all the time. Exercize caution, and common sense.