Today the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a Pandemic and as the virus spreads around the world, domain names related to the deadly virus are spreading across the Internet. Unfortunately some of these new domains are now being used to infect computers with malware:
There have been over 4,000 coronavirus-themed domains registered since January. Out of those, 3% were flagged as malicious, and another 5% as suspicious — that’s 50% higher than the malicious rate of all other domains registered in the same period, including Valentine’s Day scams.(Source – TheNextWeb)
It’s pretty sad to hackers try to take advantage of people at a time like this, but I don’t think anyone has an expectation that hackers are going to wonderful and moral people so no surprises there. Here’s a look at the weekly registration data for coronavirus domains:
Luckily Go Daddy was able get Coronavirus.com and make sure that it was put to good use and didn’t end up in the hand of hackers. Still, as you can see – the registrations are still coming in strong and there’s no doubt that more scam websites will go up every week.
So what are hackers doing with these domains? One of the most popular tactics is to make people think they are downloading a file related to what they need to do to be prepared for the Coronavirus. Unfortunately what people actually end up downloading is a Trojan that steals your login and password information and send it to hackers.
For anyone out there trying to learn more about the Coronavirus, triple check the website you are looking at. Also you should be very skeptical about needing to download anything, most information about this virus is available online on publicly accessible websites, being asked to download a file should raise some reg flags in your head right away.
It’s terrible to see people use domains to perpetuate scams and spread malware but hopefully this article and others like it can help prevent more people from falling victim.