While the world is crippled with the Coronavirus outbreak started in China, hackers are now cashing in on the fear factor by using malware.
According to a report by IBM security’s X-force, hackers are spreading malware through emails, which at the first glance look like an informative piece about Coronavirus. These emails, which are sent on behalf of welfare organisations, have information about the coronavirus outbreak and instructions to fight the virus.
In its report, IBM highlighted that one of the emails appear to be sent by a disability welfare service provider in Japan. The text, which is sent in a word file, states that there have been reports of coronavirus patients in the Gifu area in Japan and urges the reader to view the attached document.
However, in reality, the document is just a way through which the Emotet Trojan malware is installed in the devices of the victims. “The content of the document itself is just an Office 365 message, instructing the viewer to enable the content (which is malicious), in case the document has been opened in protected view,” IBM noted.
Emotet belongs to a class of spyware which is normally routed through emails. Besides the Coronavirus outbreak, hackers have been used this spyware to enter into devices of victims to churn out their personal details, including financial details. In addition to Japan, there have been numerous cases of Emotet-led fraud in Europe as well.
Prior to IBM, anti-virus maker Kaspersky had published a report highlighting that the hackers have been using other malware as well. Speaking about the situation, Kaspersky’s malware analyst Anton Ivanov said that they have across at least 10 media files that claim to be educating people about the Coronavirus but actually are malware.
As of now, the Coronavirus outbreak, which was originated in China, has taken away the lives of over 420 individuals across the world. Till date over 10K confirmed cases of the epidemic has been identified worldwide, including three in India.
In India, all three cases of Coronavirus outbreak were registered in Kerala, which has now forced the state government to declare it as a state disaster. The WHO has also declared this outbreak as a global emergency. The condition is so severe that the Indian government has brought back over 600 students studying in the Wuhan province of China.
Besides, IBM and Kaspersky, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also working to prevent the spreading of fake information about the Coronavirus outbreak on their platforms.