As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, more and more people are becoming increasingly anxious. As a result, people have begun seeking more and more information about the virus, with many seeking information in the form of maps with live data showing its spread and case numbers.
Unfortunately for those seeking data and information, hackers have started using this desire and fear to their advantage. Hackers are now creating downloadable applications that, on the front end, appear to be legitimate maps showing piles of data about COVID-19 and its global spread. But, on the back end it’s quietly a piece of malware that’s sniffing around your browser’s files to find personal information.
Malware Looking for Private Keys
The malware that has been detected so far is known as AZORult, and it sprung to fame a few years back. This new strain however is just as potent and has been modified so it could fly under the radar of most anti-virus programs. AZORult begins by creating a secret administrator account that enables it to login to the remote desktop protocol to send data back to the hackers. Then, it gets to work sniffing around in the folders used to store information by web browsers. It checks for important data, such as usernames, unencrypted passwords, cookies, browser history, and private keys that you might have entered and saved online.
Removing Any Infection is Very Simple
Fortunately, AZORult is rather easy to detect now, and most anti-virus programs now have this strain in their databases, meaning if you run a sweep of your device and you are infected, it will be removed. However, if you were infected, there is a good chance any sensitive data – such as private keys, unencrypted passwords, browser history and usernames – has already been sent to the hackers. Our best advice here is to immediately transfer any crypto from these affected wallets into a brand-new wallet that you create on a different device – just to be on the safe side.
Staying Safe is Simple
While hackers continually modify their tactics when it comes to stealing your crypto, staying safe is relatively easy. Don’t download any apps, programs or maps from untrusted sources. Stick to big-name developers and ensure that you’re downloading from the official source. It’s also well worth installing an adblocker to keep yourself free from crypto mining scripts buried in websites, as this is yet another way hackers are using the COVID-19 panic to cash in on free crypto. Stay safe out there and use common sense before downloading anything – it’s your crypto on the line.
If you’re interested to keep up with the live data spread of COVID-19, there are plenty of online maps available. For the time being, avoid downloading any just to be on the safe side. As a final note, make sure your antivirus protection is fully up to date to ensure your crypto remains safe while you’re browsing the web!