Cyber attack panic
Spammers are using the Coronavirus outbreak to spread malware via emails claiming to be “Offer information on how to defend against the real-world virus”, according to Bleeping Computer.
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of global fears surrounding the deadly Coronavirus by sending out malware-laden emails supposedly offering guidance.
Multiple email campaigns have been detected by security firms monitoring for the latest threats, all of which use coronavirus as a hook to try and get victims to open infected messages.
The emails are disguised as official notifications from public health centers and come with attachments that promise to provide more details on preventative measures against corona-virus infections.
The subject of the emails, as well as the document filenames, are similar, but not identical. They have composed o different representations of the current date and the Japanese word for “notification”, in order to suggest urgency.
Kaspersky technologies have found malicious files disguised as documents related to the newly discovered coronavirus – a virus disease that has been at the top of media headlines due to its dangerous nature.
The discovered malicious files were masked under the guise of pdf, mp4 and Docx files about the coronavirus. The names of files imply that they contain video instructions on how to protect yourself from the virus, updates on the threat and even virus detection procedures, which is not actually the case.
In fact, these files contained a range of threats from Trojans to worms which are capable of destroying, blocking, modifying or copying data, as well as interfering with the operation of computers or computer networks.
“The coronavirus, which is being widely discussed as a major news story, has already been used as bait by cybercriminals,” said Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky malware analyst.
Cybercriminals create phishing emails with this Coronavirus as the email subject or put in the email body to lure victims to click on links or download unwanted files.
Block emails with the Subject contains “Coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV” from any external sources/unknown parties.
We expect to see more malicious email traffic based on the coronavirus in the future, as the infection spreads. This will probably include other languages too, depending on the impact the coronavirus outbreak has on the native speakers. In these first samples, Japanese victims were probably targeted due to their proximity to China. Unfortunately, it is quite common for threat actors to exploit basic human emotions such as fear – especially if a global event has already caused terror and panic.