Hackers taking advantage of the fear over the coronavirus outbreak to spread malware. — Photo courtesy of the company
HCM CITY — Fear of the coronavirus infection is being leveraged by cybercriminals for their malicious activities, new research shows.
Criminals have disguised malware as documents purporting to be for educational purposes.
Data security firm Kaspersky has used its technologies to detect malicious pdf, mp4 and docx files disguised as documents on the novel coronavirus. The file names imply that they include virus protection instructions, current threat developments, and even virus detection techniques.
However, these files contain a number of malware samples, such as trojans and worms that can damage or encrypt data.
Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky’s malware analyst, said: “The coronavirus, which is currently hotly debated in the media, has been used as a bait by cybercriminals. So far, we have only identified 10 unique files, but since this type of activity is common to popular media topics, we expect this number to increase. As people continue to worry about their health, fake documents that are said to educate them about the coronavirus may spread more and more malware.”
To protect against harmful content, experts recommend that users do not click on suspicious links that promise exclusive content, and instead obtain information from official, trustworthy sources; check file extensions of downloaded files; and use a reliable security solution to ensure comprehensive protection against a wide range of threats. — VNS