During this coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic where many people are working from home at enterprise-level security, devices such as routers, social media and mails can be hacked to plant a range of malware.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has started showing its shadow with the hackers on cyberspace as well.
Shivam Bangwal is a young entrepreneur from Uttarakhand, who is the founder of People News Chronicle, Youthistaan & Branding Panther. Shivam has post-graduation degree in Masters of Computer Applications. He says, “Hackers are using the panic and confusion to trick people by sending them fake mails, messages on behalf of Government, WHO or any social media company and then downloading infected payloads or malware on their devices through that malware text / files.”
In a situation where many employees are working from home, devices such as routers can be hacked to plant a range of malware into hand-held devices used by employees. Not only this, Social Media is also getting directly attacked through messages.
Such devices could be turned into ‘bots’ or used to launch attacks on systems as soon as employee download the files provided by the hacker to them. The files, as-soon-as downloaded, starts their work in uploading the user data to their server which may cause a huge loss to the user.
Shivam adds, “This indicates a high level of adaptability as far as hackers are concerned. It said there were concerns that the outbreak could be used to hack social media networks and data stealing to either attack them immediately or leave a trojan malware.”
Shivam, through his social media accounts is also seeing hackers sending messages regarding verification of the account in the name of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This is resulting in the loss of access from the owner side as soon as users are clicking on the link provided and hackers are then scamming through the artist / public figure accounts. Recently, few artists have also been trapped by hackers which made them loose access to their accounts.
“There are emails containing subject lines such as ‘coronavirus alert,’ ‘500 coronavirus deaths in last few hours list’ and ‘this drug could save your life’,” informs Shivam. “Emails seeking donations in the name of WHO (World Health Organization) have also been seen.”
Shivam said it had seen the introduction of some of these malware beginning February and March. From early April, the number of new malware detected including new variants showed a clear decline. Also, about some common file extensions including rar, zip, mp3, mp4, xlsx, etc. have been spread in this digital world by hackers in the last few days. These files have a malicious malware that could steal data from your device. These file types include, “covid_health_update_2020.pdf (attributed to centres for disease control), origin-of-covid_cnn.mp4, coronavirus_mandatory_work_from_measures.pdf, covid_safety_alert.docx, covid_cases.xlsx and corona_infections.pdf.”
“To be on a safe side, users must firstly check the source, sender profile and compare them with the original from going to the related official website, before downloading any of the files to their device. For social media, we should not click on the link provided by any of the account saying that they are the official member / worker at that social media company. As Facebook and instagram clearly mentions on their policy that ‘we will never text you or reach you from text messages’. They will only reach you through support inbox provided by the platforms which is safe. This is the only thing that can keep users safe in this digital era” concludes Shivam Bangwal.