Global Risks

Hackers are using coronavirus maps to spread malware

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture.

Fake coronavirus dashboards are being used to scrape user data from browsers. Image: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Victor Tangermann
Writer and Photo Editor, Futurism
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Global Risks?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how COVID-19 is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

COVID-19

  • 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.

Have you read?

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.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Global RisksHealth and Healthcare Systems
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Global financial stability at risk due to cyber threats, IMF warns. Here's what to know

Spencer Feingold and Johnny Wood

May 15, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum