The world is currently gravely concerned with the recent events surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its rate of spread. So, many people have turned to going online to look at global outbreak trackers to see if the virus is close to home.
While that might sound like a really smart and harmless idea, it's not quite that simple. Shai Alfasi, a security researcher at Reason Labs, discovered some nefarious activity behind these global maps, and what he found probably won't surprise you either. According to Alfasi, hackers are using the now pandemic of the coronavirus to infiltrate people's computers and steal passwords, names, credit card information, and whatever else that is stored in your browser.
So how are they doing this? Many of the coronavirus trackers require users to download software so you can be 'kept up to date on the spread'. Unfortunately, this malware doesn't even need installation either and can generate a malicious binary file and install it on your PC. Alfasi notes that this method of digital infiltration uses software known as AZORult. Here's what Alfasi said in regards to AZORult, "It is used to steal browsing history, cookies, ID/passwords, cryptocurrency, and more. It can also download additional malware onto infected machines."
He continued, "AZORult is commonly sold on Russian underground forums for the purpose of collecting sensitive data from an infected computer."
Another security research firm called Check Point recently found that more than 50% of domains that are related to the coronavirus are designed to install malicious malware on PCs.
While it is extremely important to gather all the information you can about the coronavirus, please beware that there are people out there attempting to use this global pandemic as a means to extort other people. Only use verified sources, don't download anything that seems shady, and if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
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