While the world is reeling from the coronavirus outbreak, hackers have taken advantage of people’s need for information to steal their data. Initially, hackers were using tracking maps for the virus to install malware on people’s devices. Now they are using tracking apps to install ransomware on Android devices.
Stealing Bitcoin Using COVID-19 Tracking Apps
According to a study by researchers at DomainTools, there has been an increase in domain registrations related to the coronavirus. During their study, the came up a site called coronavirusapp[.]site, which prompts visitors to install a tracking app on their android devices to keep up with news on the coronavirus.
Once a person installs the app, it loads a malware called CovidLock. The malware changes the password for the lock screen. If a user wants to regain access to their device, they have to send $100 worth of BTC to a given address.
The app uses some deceptive means to trick users. For one, it claims that the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control have approved it. Additionally, the scammers claim that the app has received more than 6 million views and has a 4.4 rating. It also claims that in case there is a COVID-19 case near you, the will send you a notification. Before the app has been installed, you will be requested to provide various permissions, which include access to your lock screen.
By examining the content bundled with SSL certificate and malware on the site, the researcher suggested that these scammers are also connected to pornographic scams. Additionally, they are probably the same group that is behind Android malware strikes.
In summary, the researchers noted that the ransomware had not infected too many devices. Besides that, there has not been any case of anyone sending the scammers their money. Currently, if you want to find an app that will provide you with information on COVID-19, your best bet is to visit the official Google Play Store. Besides that, you can opt to rely on data from official government sites without the need to install any apps.