The application created by hackers seeks to trick users, steal bitcoins and private information.

Whilst the world faces a difficult situation and the emergence generated by the coronavirus pandemic, some computer hackers took advantage of this situation to steal money and information from users online. By using an application that supposedly keeps under observation the coronavirus, these criminals obtain important information from digital devices.

To install the app called Ransomware on users’ devices, hackers have created an application that supposedly tracks in real-time the expansion of the pandemic in the world. Some of these applications are available for Android and they claim to use tracking tools to offer all the information related to the disease.

The false application asks the user to allow its installation on the device, ensuring that it provides information about the outbreak. Once installed the app it steals specific information.

Through research, well-known security company DomainTools determined that the creation of domains that use “coronavirus” as a name has increased enormously. This can mean an important advance for science and, on the other hand, a significant increase in fake companies. The investigation warns that the coronavirus app website is promoting an application that claims to give the user information about the pandemic.

The tracking application results to be a computer virus called CovidLock, which changes all the passwords stored on the device. The ransomware sends the user a message demanding the payment of $ 100 in bitcoins for the device’s release.

The investigation explains that the website results to be very misleading. This is because it uses real data related to the coronavirus, as well as makes use of official logos of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global organizations related to the pandemic.

This fake website reports that all the competent bodies tested the application that has been tested and recommended by experts. It also indicates that it has a rating of 4.4 stars.

Besides, the app ensures it tracks globally confirmed Covid-19 cases. Even it claims to offer details on the distance between the device and infected patients.

“Get instant notification when a coronavirus patient is near you, view local coronavirus outbreak status in an easy to navigate the app with data pulled directly from the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)”, it says.

The fake app asks the user for the device key to be installed. Then, it proceeds to change the password and avoids user access to the device.

The investigation concluded some possible that the hackers who participated in the creation of this Malware were linked to other scams made on Android devices. Despite this, there are no cases of people who have paid the money requested by criminals. In this way, likely, there is an app has not been widely spread over the network.

Experts recommend not following up on new domains that come up with the disease’s name on the Internet. They say people seek to be informed by local information and communication media. For this reason, they just install applications available on the Play Store.

By María Rodríguez


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