Tech

Cybercriminals Are Using the Coronavirus to Spread Malicious Software

Yep, now we have to protect our computers, too.
IMAGE UNSPLASH/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Kaspersky, a cybersecurity company that provides anti-virus software, has warned of a new kind of malware that's disguised as "helpful" documents related to coronavirus. Instead of giving information on protecting yourself from the coronavirus, however, the files contain threats, from Trojans to worms.

“The coronavirus, which is being widely discussed as a major news story, has already been used as bait by cybercriminals. So far, we have seen only 10 unique files, but as this sort of activity often happens with popular media topics then we expect that this tendency may grow. As people continue to be worried for their health, we may see more and more malware hidden inside fake documents about the coronavirus being spread,” says Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky malware analyst.

Once accessed, the malicious files can destroy, block, modify, and copy data. It can also interfere with the operation of computers and their networks. The virus is hidden in DOCX, PDF, and even MP4 files. Other related files include:

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  • VBS.Dinihou.r
  • Python.Agent.c
  • UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic
  • WinLNK.Agent.gg
  • WinLNK.Agent.ew
  • HEUR:Trojan.WinLNK.Agent.gen
  • HEUR:Trojan.PDF.Badur.b

Kaspersky suggests that you refer to official sources for information such as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Users should also avoid opening suspicious links, look at file extensions, and of course, power up anti-virus software.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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