Hackers exploiting panic spread by novel Coronavirus; malicious activities, fake URLs register a spike

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Published: February 19, 2020 6:00:32 PM

The phenomenon of fake URLs and spam mails registered a hike in the month of January and February the most when the virus was taking its worst form.

Taking advantage of the viral interest in Coronavirus, various spam-related campaigns have been plotted by hackers.

The panic generated due to deadly Coronavirus is being milked by hackers around the world to spread malicious activities into people’s computer systems and other sensitive devices. This was highlighted by the latest Global Threat Index for January 2020, according to the Deccan Chronicle. The scare of Coronavirus which was initially confined to Asia has spread to most parts of the world. Worried by the endemic, people around the world have evinced their hyper interest to know more about the virus and its likely spread to their lives. Taking advantage of the viral interest in Coronavirus, various spam-related campaigns have been plotted by hackers.

Take the case in Japan where emails were sent to people containing a malware called emotit. Questions like which Japanese cities are facing the spread of the virus and how many positive cases have been recorded in which area of the country would be flashed in the mail. The questions would, as a result, heighten the curiosity of the people making them download the attached malware- emotit. Emotit is an advanced, self-propagating and modular trojan which could harm the data of the people without people getting to know about it. This phenomenon was recorded in the month of January and February the most when the virus was taking its worst form.

Cases of fake websites and URLs with Coronavirus as the chief keyword are also being registered in large numbers around the world. The underlying technique of exploiting the users’ interest to register traffic on their website remains the same. The fatal virus which is believed to have originated from China’s Wuhan city has already taken the lives of more than 2000 people across the world with another 75000 diagnosed positive for the virus. Most of the cases have been reported from China with only 6 deaths reported outside mainland China, according to the latest figures.

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