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Beware Covid-19 Hacker Scams

Article for: All of us
Difficulty: Easy
Importance: Useful security information

Here are 6 new scams and viruses brought to you by innovative hackers taking advantage of the Covid-19 virus.

  1. Mobile Malware: At least 16 different mobile apps claiming to offer updated Covid-19 information and tracking were found to include banker Trojans, stealing personal information.
  2. Phishing emails containing attachments to steal personal and financial data. These masquerade as health advisories from WHO, UNICEF or other international agencies.
  3. Special discounted Covid-19 pricing for software. Installs malware instead.
  4. Fake SMS messages promising government payments to combat economic problems from the pandemic. Click the link and install malware.
  5. Promising face masks and hand sanitizer, but never delivering.
  6. Sending out fake Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting invitations, getting them to download malware.

I just got a nice-looking Email from what appeared to be CapitalOne and would give me a reward for filling out a questionnaire about my shopping experience. A close examination revealed it would download malware and had nothing to do with CapitalOne.

Be careful out there. Remember, the Internet connects us to about 7 billion people. If one person in a thousand is a malicious miscreant, then 7 million malicious miscreants are connected to you! Be careful.

Best advice: Never click on any link from a bank or credit card company or to purchase any item ever. Never click on an email link, unless it is a known friend sending you a link to a news article or something that is within what you'd expect from them and contains enough information so you know it is really from them. Simply a friends email address means nothing. Email addresses are easy to spoof.

Further reading

Date: May 2020

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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