It seems as if the deadly Coronavirus epidemic was not enough, now people also have to worry about Coronavirus-themed malware infecting their systems. According to research conducted by security firm Check Point, Coronavirus-themed domains are 50 per cent more likely to spread malicious activity than other domains.
Cybersecurity firm Check Point announced that over 4,000 Coronavirus-related domains — that is, they contain words like “corona” or “COVID” — have been registered since the beginning of 2020. Of those, 3 percent were considered malicious and another 5 percent were suspicious.
Three percent might not seem like much, but according to Check Point, this means that a Coronavirus-related domain is 50 percent more likely to be malicious than any other domain registered during the same period. Check Point believes many of these malicious sites will be used in phishing campaigns.
The study states, “Many of these domains will probably be used for phishing attempts,” the researchers warn. “An outstanding targeted coronavirus themed phishing campaign was recently spotted targeting Italian organizations, hitting over 10 per cent of all organizations in Italy.”
The campaign in question attempts tricking users into downloading a malicious file disguised as “a document that includes all the necessary precautions against Coronavirus infection” prepared by the World Health Organization. In reality, victims are actually downloading a pesky banking Trojan, which can harvest your credentials.
Researchers are researching their best to come up with solutions that contain the spread of the virus.
A few days ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) put out a warning about phishing attempts via emails from apparent WHO representatives. Meanwhile, cybersecurity firm Proofpoint has also found a rash of WHO-branded phishing attempts as well as Coronavirus-themed phishing emails from other health-related organisations. Some of these phishing attempts even appear to come from internal company emails.