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Another Virus to Worry About

March 26, 2020

You know it’s a sick world when people are creating malware that launches when you open a map of COVID-19 outbreaks. Apparently, coronavirus isn’t the only sickness that’s infesting the world.

At least COVID-19 can’t be transmitted through your computer. AZORult can.

I know this because, after some hesitation, I clicked on a link to a Forbes article titled, “Warning: You Must Not Download This Dangerous Coronavirus Map.” I had been looking for a coronavirus map I could use in a blog post for a client.

Many other links noted the map-related malware. Searching “coronavirus map malware” yielded more than a million results. Will clicking on some of the results also bring malware to your computer? When I clinked on the link to the Forbes article, plenty of pop-up ads resulted, but no malware that I know of. Maybe, though, like COVID-19, the malware has a lengthy incubation period.

The AZORult malware steals “credentials such as user names, passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information,” according to Forbes, which adds that the malware “has been doing the rounds among cybercriminals, changing hands on Russia’s underground forums, helping to fuel a range of malicious campaigns. There’re no real limits to the data that AZORult has been known to sniff out on infected machines, and so for users the risks can be multifaceted — standard credentials, bitcoin wallets, chat platform history and messages, as well as installing backdoors into systems for further compromises.”

So how are you feeling now?

It makes you wonder who else is going to take advantage of our sudden vulnerability.