Warning: COVID-19 tracker maps allow hackers to infect your PC

Warning: COVID-19 tracker maps allow hackers to infect your PC

What’s going on with the world right now?

News about the COVID-19 is everywhere. The situation has gotten worse to worst.

Countries that are greatly affected by it have been on total lockdown, with no domestic and international sea/land travels. Unfortunately, people who have been tested positive, as well as the casualties have been on the rise every day.

Cities across the world have imposed “community quarantine,” and have advised its people to stay at home and practice social distancing.

It’s a scary time in the world right now. People have been digging their noses on news about this global pandemic.

In this modern time, newspapers and televisions are not the only sources for news of what is now a global pandemic. Websites with the COVID-19 tracker maps are also one.

Unfortunately, hackers have used this vulnerable time to spread malware in your computer via these COVID-19 tracker map websites.

Read: MWC 2020 canceled due to Coronavirus health concerns

Hackers may infect your PCs through these COVID-19 tracker map websites

Hackers may infect your PCs through these COVID-19 tracker map websites
Hackers may infect your PCs through these COVID-19 tracker map websites

One thing known about the COVID-19 is its rapid spread amongst people.

These tracker map websites have been a great help on the rate this virus has spread, as well as the countries affected, number of people and more.

And the last thing we need right now is another virus, right? Unfortunately, hackers are taking advantage of this situation right now.

A popular map to track the spread of the COVID-19 was infiltrated by hackers to spread their own virus – a dangerous strain of malware.

Mind you, the malware is designed to steal users’ login credentials and credit card information too. Scared of being impacted by the hack?

Also read: “Unremovable malware” found on US gov’-funded Android smartphones

Hackers taking advantage of the COVID-19 global pandemic
Hackers taking advantage of the COVID-19 global pandemic

Amidst this time of panic, hackers are taking advantage of the situation.

Hackers are jumping on the coronavirus outbreak as a means to spread their own dangerous malware to PCs across the globe. According to researchers, one of the most popular tracker map websites that monitors the spread of COVID-19 in the world has been used to spread AZORult malware.

Regularly check the spread of the novel coronavirus, which can lead to the potentially fatal COVID-19, is hugely important for public health.

It seems like it’s not only the rest of the world is battling against a virus, your own PC might also be battling its own infection.

AZORult malware is wreaking havoc amongst PCs worldwide

There is another virus that people are fighting off worldwide – AZORult malware.

If you are unfamiliar with the name, this is a particularly dangerous strain of malware. This virus is designed to steal sensitive information from your computers such as usernames, passwords for online accounts, addresses, credit card numbers and many more.

However, AZORult isn’t new. In fact, this malware has been circulation among cybercriminals for about four years now, changing hands on underground forums in Russia and also fuelling a number of devastating campaigns online.

What these hackers do is they create a fake COVID-19 tracker map website. The website then appears to be looking for online credentials.

This will then allow the hackers to place orders under your name, withdraw money from online accounts, and more.

How to prevent being hacked?

There have been already cases of AZORult malware hacking users. So, how do we avoid and prevent it?

Well, if you use the same email address and password combination for a number of your online accounts, it is important to change them to unique combinations. This is especially when you think that your device has been infected with the malware strain.

Chances are if you have the same combination on your accounts, hackers will only be needing one login credentials to be able to access a slew of logins in your name – prompting to more sensitive information being leaked to cyber hackers.

Fake coronavirus tracker map laced with virus
Fake coronavirus tracker map laced with virus

One way to combat it by keeping passwords secured in password managers. This way, you will only have to remember one password – the one that unlocks your password vault – and access the rest there.

All thanks to Reason Labs researcher Shai Alfasi, this threat lurking in the coronavirus tracker map has been unearthed. In a blog post, Alfasi posted,

The password-stealing operation process is simple because the malware steals the ‘login data’ from the installed browser and moves it to ‘C:WindowsTemp’.

Furthermore, there’s no need for users to download apps to run risks from this malware. Interactive browser dashboards – like the one that displays real-time updates of the coronavirus spread – can already be infected by AZORult.

According to Alfasi, it is best to avoid accessing any of such maps and links under any circumstances, to ensure that your computer is safe.

As the novel coronavirus continues its spread, cyber attackers are also taking advantage of the popularity of COVID-19’s related resources.

Let us all be vigilant to both viruses.

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