Beware Of Coronavirus Tracking Apps! Your Phone Can Be Locked Down; Malwares Spreading
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing havoc all around the globe. Many software companies and governments are launching outbreak dashboards to determine the information related to the spread of the disease and preventive measures to keep in mind.
Amidst the chaos, hackers from around the globe are taking advantage of the pandemic to steal financial information by spreading malwares by creating fake outbreak dashboards, apps and websites.
Read to find out how you can help yourself from falling prey…
Malicious Covid-19 Tracker App!
Cyber criminals have developed a malicious software-laced Coronavirus tracking Android app. The COVID19 Tracker app is available for download on the website with the same name.Their site offers to download the Android app for the heat map. It states to offer the information on the spread of the pandemic in addition to country-wise statistics of COVID-19 infections, recoveries and fatalities.
Once installed, the Coronavirus app, which contains a malicious software ‘CovidLock’ that takes full control of the phone and blocks the user from opening the screen lock.
The CovidLock demands a deposit of $100 in bitcoins to the victims and if they don’t agree to pay within 48 hours, it warns to permanently delete all the contacts, videos, images, messages and other personal information on the phone. It also threatens to leak social media account user IDs and passwords on social media platforms.
Tarik Salah, Senior Security Engineer and Malware Researcher at DomainTools, said in a statement, “CovidLock uses techniques to deny the victim access to their phone by forcing a change in the password used to unlock the phone. This is also known as a screen-lock attack and has been seen before on Android ransomware.” The number of people that have fallen victim to the CovidLock malware is unknown.
Fake Coronavirus Outbreak Dashboards!
Coronavirus outbreak dashboards — like the one created by John Hopkins University — have become an extremely useful way to keep track of how the deadly virus is spreading across the globe.
According to reports from Next Web, the hackers are creating fake coronavirus maps to infect users with malware.
According to a blog post, security researcher Shai Alfasi at Reason Labs discovered that hackers have started using fake coronavirus dashboards to steal user data, including ‘user names, passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information that is stored in the users’ browser’.
Fraudsters have developed a fake map that has used an identical graphical interface as the John Hopkins one. But the fake one has an executable program hidden in it that creates new files in the target’s temporary files folders. The malware keeps itself alive as it sifts through users’ files using Windows’ “Task Scheduler” feature. This technique isn’t only capable of stealing your data — it can infect the device with a variety of other malware as well.
The blog post reads, “As the coronavirus continues to spread and more apps and technologies are developed to monitor it, we will likely be seeing an increase in corona malware and corona malware variants well into the foreseeable future.”
How to Protect Your Phones and Laptops From Malwares?
- Do not install any Android apps from the third-party app store or from unfamiliar websites. Always download apps from official Google Play Store or Windows Store only.
- Make sure you install the latest software update. Always update your devices like Any Android mobile, iOS-based iPhone, Windows-powered PCs or Mac computer with the latest software. All three Google, Microsoft, and Apple regularly send firmware — especially security patches monthly or on a priority basis, whenever they detect threats.
- Always check whether the websites you visit have ‘https’ or just ‘http’. If it has the latter, just close the link and initiate anti-virus scanning on your device.
- Installing a premium Antivirus software is a must! It should offer 24×7 protection and should be equipped to detect threats quickly whenever you unknowingly visit a fishy, malicious website.
- Do not open emails or SMS and click URL links sent from unknown senders. Do not open the attachments attached in these emails or SMS either.