• Hackers are creating fake coronavirus maps to spread malware.
  • They're scraping user data, including user names, passwords and credit card numbers.

Coronavirus outbreak dashboards — like this one, created by John Hopkins University — have become an extremely useful way to keep track of how the deadly virus is spreading across the globe.

But hackers are creating fake coronavirus maps to infect users with malware, The Next Web reports.

Doppelganger

Security researcher Shai Alfasi at Reason Labs discovered that hackers have started using fake coronavirus dashboards to scrape user data, including “user names, passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information that is stored in the users’ browser,” according to a blog post.

For instance, a fake map that used an almost identical graphical interface as the John Hopkins one hid an executable program that created new files in the target’s temporary files folders.

A fake map that uses an almost identical graphical interface as the John Hopkins one hid an executable program that created new files in the target’s temporary files folders.
A fake with an almost identical graphical interface as the John Hopkins one.
Image: The Next Web

Data thief

The malware keeps itself alive as it sifts through users’ files using Windows’ “Task Scheduler” feature. The method isn’t only capable of stealing your data — it can infect it with a variety of other malware as well.

“As the coronavirus continues to spread and more apps and technologies are developed to monitor it, we will likely be seeing an increase in corona malware and corona malware variants well into the foreseeable future,” reads the blog post.