As if the threat of an epidemic wasn’t enough, now you also have to watch out for coronavirus-themed malware.
That’s according to new research from security firm Check Point, which found coronavirus-themed domains are 50% more likely to spread malicious activity than other domains.
There have been over 4,000 coronavirus-themed domains registered since January. Out of those, 3% were flagged as malicious, and another 5% as suspicious — that’s 50% higher than the malicious rate of all other domains registered in the same period, including Valentine’s Day scams.
“Many of these domains will probably be used for phishing attempts,” the researchers warn. “An outstanding targeted coronavirus themed phishing campaign was recently spotted targeting Italian organizations, hitting over 10% of all organizations in Italy.”
The campaign in question attempts tricking users into downloading a malicious file disguised as “a document that includes all the necessary precautions against coronavirus infection” prepared by the World Health Organization. In reality, victims are actually downloading a pesky banking Trojan, which can harvest your credentials.
While hackers are busy abusing the epidemic for their own gain, researchers have been doing their best to come up with solutions to contain the spread of the virus, also known as COVID-19.
For more information about the coronavirus, please visit the following sources:
- World Health Organization COVID-19 Q&A
- European Center for Disease Control and prevention facts on COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control COVID-19 facts