This coronavirus-themed malware hides in Excel spreadsheets, watch out

Don't fall for these coronavirus-infused phishing campaigns that work through Excel spreadsheets.

Published Sat, May 23 2020 9:32 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:43 AM CST

With millions at home right now, it is the time to strike if you're making malicious software -- and disguising coronavirus phishing campaigns through Excel spreadsheets? That's nasty.

Recently, the Microsoft Security Intelligence Team discovered that there are two rather large phishing campaigns that are fooling people into downloading, and then opening malicious Excel files. Once they do, hackers have remote access to their PCs and it is game over.

The emails get disguised to look like they're coming from the likes of Johns Hopkins University, while other emails coming through are personal COVID-19 testing solutions, and more. The emails themselves arrive with Excel documents attached, with click bait-y titles such as "WHO COVID-19 SITUATION REPORT" that once opened, will install NetSupport Manager -- a remote desktop access tool.

  • The reason why this is so nasty: NetSupport Manager is a real program, so it is tricky for anti-malware and antivirus software to pick it up. If it does slip through the cracks, hackers will have access to virtually your entire PC -- private files, folders, everything.
  • What you can do: Don't open suspicious emails, and triple-check anything coronavirus-related to make sure you're not being fooled. Tell your friends and family, especially the not so tech savvy ones.
  • Never ever: Please, do not ever open an Excel spreadsheet that comes through your email -- unless you were waiting for it, know the sender, and were expecting it.
This coronavirus-themed malware hides in Excel spreadsheets, watch out 03 |
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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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