COVID-19-themed scams are exploding both online and offline. Hijacked Twitter accounts peddling fake cures, scammy sites offering emergency supplies, misinformation campaigns, phishing emails and – can you believe it? – even a computer antivirus solution that protects against COVID-19! What will online scammers think of next?
Corona Antivirus, compromised routers and fake apps
Malwarebytes researchers have spotted a website advertising “Corona Antivirus -World’s best protection” – a digital antivirus that supposedly protects against the actual COVID-19.
The software offered for download (update.exe) is malware that turns the victim’s computer into a DDoS-capable bot. It can also take screenshots, steal saved passwords, log keystrokes, steal Bitcoin wallets and execute scripts.
Bitdefender warns about attackers hijacking Linksys routers through brute-forcing and altering their DNS server settings so that they point users towards malicious Coronavirus-themed webpages. The pages in question are prompting victims to install the “COVID-19 Inform App”:
What they will download and install is relatively new information-stealing malware called Oski, which can extract and steal credentials saved in browsers and cryptocurrency wallet passwords.
Charity and supply scams
Cybercriminals are trying to impersonate charities and the WHO to get users’ money, but Sophos researchers have also spotted scammy emails trying to sell “insider information” from a “military source” on how to survive COVID-19:
They are also warning about hijacked Twitter accounts advertising “a dodgy looking face mask/toilet paper/digital forehead thermometer online store.”