Coronavirus Maps Being Used To Spread Malware

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We are all very much used to hackers and cybercriminals taking advantage of difficult times but it’s a new low when they start using the coronavirus to wreak more havoc on the world.

The Real Coronavirus Map

John Hopkins University created a coronavirus outbreak dashboard as a practical and visual way for people to monitor the spread of the disease. Essentially, it is an interactive map that shows you an overview of the current situation and then you can click on different countries to access the specific information. The map shows the total number of cases, the number of active cases, recoveries, and deaths.

What is This Malware Doing?

Hackers are making fake coronavirus maps that spread malware, collecting user data such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details and even cryptocurrency. Innocent victims trying to find out the latest news are risking device infection and worse.

These maps come in the form of an application that doesn’t require installation, but a malicious binary file is installed onto the computer. As they look like genuine websites, it is critical that the user pays close attention to the URL.

This information stealing malicious software is known as AZORult and has the ability to download additional malware onto infected devices. It is frequently bought from Russian underground forums.

Research carried out by Check Point has shown that domains related to coronavirus are 50% more likely to have malware. At the moment, such malware has only been able to infect Windows devices, but we are sure it won’t be long before more will be attacked. AZORult can keep itself alive while it goes through a user’s files using Windows’ Task Scheduler.

In Summary

We should have guessed that it wouldn’t have been long for hackers to come up with the latest way to steal user’s information. As much as we need to maintain ourselves informed of the situation across the globe, the last thing we need is further problems from being hacked, especially if you can’t leave your home to find solutions. With that in mind, stick to known on trusted sites for your updates and if the URL looks suspicious, stay away from it. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ has never been more relevant.