CYBER-criminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to lure people into malware and ransomware traps.
The crime is being referred to as "scareware" because the hackers are taking advantage of widespread fear.
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Malware and ransomware attacks are said to be increasing as people are searching more often for COVID-19.
Hackers are said to be taking advantage of coronavirus related words to lure in victims.
This includes setting up fake links that people may click if they are searching for symptoms.
Malware strain Azorult.RK poses as an app offering diagnosis and help.
We asked Terry Greer-King from internet security SonicWall what people can do to protect themselves from this threat.
He said: "More than ever, the public needs to be hyper aware of the interactions they have online, particularly involving the links and emails they open.
"Cybercriminals do their utmost to take advantage of trying times by tricking users into opening dangerous files, through what they consider to be trusted sources.
"Signs to look out for are email communications from colleagues or bosses with “urgent” in the subject line – this will be particularly common as we log in to work from home in the coming weeks.
"These messages will be used by phishers to trick people into installing malware or to steal login information and gain direct access into your network.
"Obvious typos or misspellings are always a giveaway, as are claims to provide diagnosis or a cure to the virus’ symptoms, that the email or app does not come from a recognised health authority.
"Users should always double-check sender emails and domain names in their browsers and steer clear of suspicious looking websites that can leave their system vulnerable to phishing attempts.
"If a sender is not recognised, it is advisable to delete the message immediately.
"The best way to stay informed about the latest health news is to follow directives from global health organisations, instead of looking for information from other sources, to avoid becoming vulnerable to well-established techniques and social engineering hacks."
What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus
The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.
Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- difficulty breathing
In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.
It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.
The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.
You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.
Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus.
In other news, Instagram has banned dangerous, reckless and insensitive coronavirus filters.
we debunked some of the most outrageous coronavirus conspiracy theories.
And, Android users are being warned about a new 'cookie bug' created by hackers.
What are your thoughts on this scam? Let us know in the comments…
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