Cyber criminals have been leveraging trending cultural and viral news items that drive interest from millions of individuals as mechanisms to target and distribute malware easily and effectively. In the past, cyber criminals have used topics including international sports championships, celebrity divorces, and political elections to spread their malware.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the latest vehicle for these types of attacks. The conditions of this pandemic are ripe for wide-scale malware distribution: large geographic base affecting both businesses and consumers, fear and uncertainty on the impact of the virus, and the increased use of social media and person-to-person electronic communications to spread news, information, and opinions.
Last week, a new malware attack focused on these effects. A cyber criminal group created a fake Corona Map application for Windows embedded with information stealing malware that once downloaded and installed by the user starts collecting and sending sensitive data like passwords, credit card numbers, bank accounts, and other sensitive data.