One of the things that most mobilizes the population for better and for worse is fear. Generally panicking or generating fear triggers certain actions. And that is exactly what the criminals with the coronavirus are trying to take advantage of, since several hackers are using the information of the pandemic to transfer malware and fraud to carry out credit card thefts and e-commerce transactions.
Reason Labs digital security researcher Shai Alfasi discovered that thieves are using maps containing information from the coronavirus to spread malicious codes that steal information.
All this taking advantage of the need of people to have more details of the pandemic and especially because they have been prestigious sites that have put these resources online, such as John Hopkins University or Google.
“These malicious websites request the user to download an application so that they are always up to date with the situation. This application does not even have to be installed to infect the user's PC with malicious code, ”says Alfasi, who also explains that this theft of information for now is affecting people who have Windows.
The Reason Labs researcher elaborated on the virus: The new code activates a strain of malicious software known as AZORult, an information thief first registered in 2016. It is used to steal data from browsing history, cookies, cryptocurrencies, user names and passwords, among other things. You can also download more malware to infected machines. AZORult is routinely sold on Russian underworld forums with the aim of stealing sensitive information from the infected PC.
Generally, the way to detect these fake maps is that URLs are usually very complex and far-fetched, so expert advice is to only consult maps from trusted sources or verified informational sites.
The only certainty, moreover, is that the coronavirus is not only infecting people, but it is also taking advantage of the panic to create chaos in digital services around the world.