It’s no secret that hackers use current trends to attack. Even now that the Coronavirus is slowly reaching all different continents, we see that people’s fears are being used to spread malware and phishing mails.
1. Dissemination of malware in the form of documents
People are desperate for more information about the status quo of the Coronavirus. We even notice that they are willing to exchange personal information for it. Hackers have found nothing better than to abuse the Coronavirus and spread documents containing malware to (concerned) citizens. We refer to this as ‘social engineering’, in which hackers entice their victims to click on their malware by ‘clickbait‘.
This means that they use filenames that trigger people’s attention. E.g. ‘How can you recognize the Coronavirus’ or ‘Is the Coronavirus present in your city’? Hackers are innovative and use different ways and file formats such as pdf, mp4 and Dockx files to stimulate the distribution of their malware.
When you click on one of the documents, a ‘Trojan‘ or ‘Trojan horse’ will be downloaded to your device. This is malware that looks legitimate but in fact isn’t trustable. Its purpose is to gain access to your user system, to spy on it or to steal personal data.
Another hacking technique is the use of ‘worms’. Unlike a Trojan horse, a worm is something that can live by itself. In other words, after one computer is infected, they spread themselves to other computers using a network or internet connection.
2. The link between phishing campaigns and the Coronavirus
In the past we already posted a blog about phishing mails and the things you need to pay attention to. Now that we notice that hackers use the Coronavirus to send these out, we want to bring this to the attention once more.
We see that hackers spread the malware described above through mailings or that they want to obtain mail data from their victims. In doing so, they present themselves as legitimate organisations such as the ‘World Health Organiaztion’ and are using convincing domain names. This will make you more likely to trust the sender and share personal data.
The sender’s message is that there is more information available about the Coronavirus and he wants to share it with you by using email. They will refer you to a portal that looks like Outlook. Once you have entered your details, hackers can use your login details later to find out what valuable information is available in your mailbox.
Caution when opening files and mailings is an absolute must. What you should pay attention to, you can read in this blog.