Coronavirus: Hackers Misuse Fear To Spread Malware

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Coronavirus has taken a massive toll on life in China and is spreading to other countries as well. However, hackers are taking advantage of this situation and are spreading malware through emails. Security research firms have unfurled such horrendous acts by bad actors, who are taking advantage of the fear over the coronavirus outbreak to spread malware.

Coronavirus Misused For Malware
 

Coronavirus Misused For Malware

Experts from IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence report that hackers have been sending spam emails to potential victims, especially in Japan. The spam email reads that the coronavirus has been spotted in the country and urge the receiver to open an attached Microsoft Word file to learn more.

The unsuspecting, scared victim on clicking the word file will launch a series of commands that in turn will download the Emotet malware into their computer. Once the malware settles into the computer, it will give hackers free access to steal sensitive information. Worse, it could even be used to deliver dangerous payloads like ransomware.

Not The First Time

Not The First Time

IBM says that this method has a wider impact on the fear of coronavirus and the fear around it. The report also notes that this method could be used in other languages as well for future emails. Moreover, this isn't the first time hackers have spread Emotet malware using such events and calamities.

Previous such malware was spread around the holidays and other events. Invitations to a Greta Thunberg demonstration or a Christmas party and other such events often contain malware in the email reports Digital Trends. The coronavirus is the latest hazard to be misused by hackers to spread malicious activities.

There’s More
 

There’s More

Kaspersky Lab also reported various malicious files sent through documents containing information about the coronavirus. The report notes it could in the form of MP4 files, PDFs, Word files, and so on. Generally, these files claim to contain information about precautions and detection procedures about the virus.

However, the report also notes that the "current number of infected users is not high enough to comprehensively know about the distribution methods of these files". Various companies including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter are trying best to curb misinformation about the coronavirus. Google too, has rolled out SOS Alerts to make credible information accessible.

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