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Hackers create fake informational maps about COVID-19 to steal user data

An investigation by cybersecurity company Reason Labs reveals that cybercriminals have found a new way to take advantage of the panic generated around the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Hackers now target users who are looking for online maps that provide data about the spread of the disease worldwide, such as the one developed by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

According to Shai Alfasi, one of the experts at Reason Labs, cybercriminals are creating fake versions of informational dashboards to steal data stored in users' browsers, including access credentials and bank card numbers, and install malicious software on devices.

The aspect of the websites in question is able to convince the most unsuspecting users. The signs that indicate that we are not facing a legitimate website are the web address and the name of the page, which do not correspond to the original versions.

Reason Labs Research Example of a fake website found by Reason Labs. In terms of appearance, there are many similarities with the legitimate version of the map.

In addition, the fake versions of informational dashboards ask anyone who uses them to install an application that is supposed to help you stay more informed. The expert explains that through this technique, hackers are able to infect users' devices with AZORult malware.

To avoid being cheated by hackers and losing your most important data, Reason Labs recommends not visiting websites or downloading without being sure that they are legitimate. The company also advises to check details such as the address format, spelling, online comments and domain registration.

The Reason Lab discovery comes after researchers at cybersecurity companies Trustwave Holdings and Sophos have detected a new wave of phishing email scams where cybercriminals pose as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Center for Health Control and Prevention. North American diseases (CDC).

Kaspersky experts had already alerted the public to a similar situation in late January. At issue were online documents with alleged instructions on how to protect and detect COVID-19 and that masked malicious software such as Trojans and worms. Threats are capable of destroying, blocking, modifying and copying data, and of interfering with the operation of computers and computer networks.