BEWARE: Coronavirus Map Malware Scam

"Scam Alert" With Caution sign in backgroundAs our nation and other countries respond to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) fraudsters are finding ways to play on fear and uncertainty. It is important to remain vigilant regarding protecting your personal information.

Beware of a current scam whereby criminals are leveraging the COVID-19 epidemic to spread malware through a “Coronavirus Map” app. This “spoofing” attempt is a legitimate Johns Hopkins map, but it asks users to download something locally.

Upon clicking, the user unknowingly provides their user names, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information to the attacker. In addition to scraping data out of victims’ web browsers and applications, additional malware may be downloaded into the victim’s system. The malware has a user interface that looks very good and convincing. When running the malware, the user interface window loads information, which pools from the web.

A quick Google search of something like “Coronavirus App/Website Scams” will provide you with more information about these kinds of scams. John Hopkins’s website does provide COVID-19 information and resources including the legitimate map. You should visit their website (and other valid resources) direct to ensure you are accessing legitimate information. Be cautious or do not download apps or click on links via emails or text messages, especially if unsolicited.

A screenshot of the malicious coronavirus app interface below:

Image of malicious John Hopkins Coronavirus app download sample