As the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 ( or COVID-19) cases rapidly increase throughout the world, there are also a growing number of Coronavirus websites proliferating. At every corner of the internet, you could see websites popping up getting email addresses and personal user information. Sadly, these websites only bring more harm than good. Thus, it is important to filter the information that come your way. Don’t be fooled by other websites and only believe data from verified outlets. For reliable information, you can visit the Public Health Emergency, Centers for Disease Control, and The New York Times.
Now, more than ever, is not the time to spread malicious websites. The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center warns the netizens about a malicious website that’s not only fake, but it is also a malware. Worse, most users are unsuspecting of this because they just want to learn and get updates about COVID-19.
Undeniably, cybercriminals are using this global pandemic for their personal gains. Now is the time to be alert of the coronavirus spread, but also of the people taking advantage of new disease. The threat online is also as important the threat we experience in the real world. So, let’s dissect the phishing websites spreading online? What are the tactics they use to scam people?
A Fake COVID-19 Tracker
In any disaster, often times, people rely on the internet to get the new information. That’s why cybercriminals aim to replicate real and actual sites, making them seem harmless. What do they do exactly? They come up with a fake live tracker.
corona-virus-map[dot]com, a phishing website, seems to be the real deal when you look at it. Please don’t even try visiting the said site! I am not linking it here; this is just to make people aware that such fake tracking map exists. COVID-19 is already a serious threat as it is, and now, this fake website is only making thing worse. The phishing website is said to impersonate an actual health organization called John’s Hopkins University. Upon visiting the said site, the website visitors will infect with a trojan, and this AZORult trojan will steal information from the unsuspecting visitors. The information gathered can be used for cybercrimes and even theft.
More Coronavirus Domains
According to the security firm CheckPoint.com,
Since January 2020, based on Check Point Threat Intelligence, there have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains registered globally. Out of these websites, 3% were found to be malicious and an additional 5% are suspicious. Coronavirus- related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered at the same period.
COVID-19 Related Cybercrimes
More and more news articles pertaining to the coronavirus are being published each day. In fact, CheckPoint.com even reported that legitimate sites such as CNN and Financial Times have more than 1,200 articles and 1,100 articles about the coronavirus respectively.
Ever since the World Health Organiztion categorized COVID-19 a global pandemic, numerous COVID-19 themed websites are popping up. Other malicious websites spread through different means like:
- sending malicious links online,
- attaching shady links on emails,
- spreading through online ads, and other portals on social media.
So, everyone should be aware on how cybersecurity threats can spread. Don’t just be cautious over this new corona-virus-map[dot]com site, but also be careful on the links and emails you click when you browse for new information about the coronavirus. Read helpful on 4 Tips in Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus Phishing Sites