Hackers are taking advantage of coronavirus to spread computer viruses: IBM report
Published Thursday, February 6, 2020 10:32AM EST Last Updated Saturday, February 8, 2020 5:07PM EST
A woman uses her computer key board to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
MONTREAL -- No, there's no coronavirus "medical form" circulating – that's the work of a hacker trying to give you a virus of the computer variety.
Hackers are taking advantage of the global health crisis to send malicious e-mails that could claim significantly more victims than the medical illness itself.
Researchers from IBM X-Force and Kaspersky are warning that thousands of phishing e-mails have been sent in hopes of infecting the recipient's cellphone or computer with malware.
"X-Force has discovered the first campaign of its kind, in which an outbreak of a biological virus is used to spread a computer virus," read the IBM report.
The e-mails - which are mainly circulating in Asia at the moment - claim to contain legitimate information about the coronavirus. The recipient is invited to click on an attachment for more information. Those who fall into the trap unintentionally allow hackers to gain access to their personal documents.
IBM said we can expect to see more malicious coronavirus-inspired e-mails circulating in the future as the infection spreads. This will probably also happen in other languages, it said.