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Hackers use fear of covid-19 to spread computer viruses

Nothing is as it seems, but it all starts with just an innocent click.

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As the coronavirus spreads across the world, hackers use fear and confusion to spread computer viruses in increasingly sophisticated ways.

The BBC has been tracking down some of the scams phishing by emails reported by cybersecurity organizations since the outbreak of the new coronavirus hit the front pages.

Hundreds of different criminal campaigns have been detected that have sent millions of fake emails.

The campaigns of phishingtake hold of today

Information security experts say the increase in attacks related to covid-19, the disease causing the new coronavirus, is the worst seen in years.

Cybercriminals are using English, French, Italian, Japanese, and Turkish to target potential victims, both individuals and industries including transportation, healthcare, insurers, hotels, restaurants, and manufacturing.

It's impossible to say what the true scale of the email epidemic is, but here are some of the most compelling and how to spot them.

«Click here for the coronavirus cure»

Proofpoint researchers first noticed a strange email reaching their customers in February.

It is a message from a mysterious doctor who claims to have a document with details about a coronavirus vaccine that is being covered up by the governments of China and the United Kingdom.

Proofpoint says that curious recipients who click on the document are taken to what appears to be a normal and trustworthy Docusign page, but it's actually a website created by criminals themselves to get their login details.

Once they get the username and password

They seize your documents, in addition to getting access to any other site that uses the same email and password; Proofpoint says the emails are sent in batches of 200,000 at a time.

Sherrod DeGrippo, from this company's threat detection and investigation team, said: