While the world deals with the pandemic of COVID-19 and the health concerns it brings, malicious groups behind the scenes are trying to use the virus as a way to further spread their malware and viruses. This means businesses and individuals need to be more cautious than ever about attachments, links and anything that simply doesn’t seem quite right.
So far, there have been examples of COVID-19 being used in email spam, malware, ransomware, malicious domains and more. Thousands of campaigns have been put into place to play on people’s fears or to appear to offer false news or information all with the sole aim of tricking people.
One example was malware that overrides a system master boot record of MBR that was discovered by the Czech cybersecurity agency NUKIB. The file came with the title Coronavirus Installer and once installed, would show a virus themed message that also could not be closed.
Other examples included articles that appears to be news articles reporting on the virus and different ways it was being combatted. But the link when followed took to a malicious URL. Over 900K messages related to COVID-19 have been noted and there has been a rise of 260% in malicious URL hits in February and March as the use of the virus in malware increases.
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