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Computer Viruses Are Hidden In Coronavirus Information: Signs To Look For

Cybercriminals are hiding malicious files in documents claiming to contain information about the coronavirus.


The files are pdf, mp4, and docx files with names that suggest they "contain video instructions on how to protect yourself from the virus, updates on the threat and even virus detection procedures."


The files contain a range of malware threats, including Trojans and worms that can interfere with your device's operations and destroy, block, modify, and copy data.  


Watch out for the following malicious file names: Worm.VBS.Dinihou.r; Worm.Python.Agent.c; UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic; Trojan.WinLNK.Agent. gg; Trojan.WinLNK.Agent.ew; HEUR:Trojan.WinLNK.Agent.gen; and HEUR:Trojan.PDF.Badur.b.


Although researchers have only discovered 10 coronavirus-related files so far, they anticipate more as concern over coronavirus increases. "Cybercriminals mask malware as coronavirus info files" (Feb. 01, 2020).


Hiding a virus in information people are eager for – such as news updates and trending topics about the coronavirus - is exactly how cybercriminals operate and why malware is so dangerous. Tomorrow, cybercriminals will be using whatever the new public concern is. 


Always be suspicious of links that promise exclusive content. If you want more information about a disease or other topic, visit the official website of a government or professional medical organization specializing in the topic by typing in the web address yourself.


Before downloading any file, check the extension to make sure it matches what the file claims to be. Documents and video files should not show “.exe” or “.lnk” extensions.


Protect all computers and devices with the latest cybersecurity software. Set your browser to the highest security setting. Routinely scan for viruses and malware.


Finally, be suspicious of any unexpected file that shows up through email or a popup, whether it promises to tell you about coronavirus or claims to contain a $25 coupon to Amazon. Cybercriminals use both excitement and fear to trick their victims. If a message seems designed to get you to impulsively click on it, it is more than likely a scam.

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