Hackers are taking advantage of the coronavirus panic by using fake Android tracking applications to ransom users in crypto.
According to a report by The Next Web, hackers are spreading fake coronavirus tracking applications for Android devices which trick users into downloading malware.
Researchers from security firm DomainTools reported an uptick in domain name registrations related to coronavirus, which led them to uncover a particular website encouraging users to install an Android application for tracking the virus. The fake application causes users to download the “CovidLock” ransomware, which alters the lock-screen password of their device. Victims are forced to pay $100 in bitcoin to the hackers in order to regain access to their smartphone.
In addition to publishing false reviews for the application, the virus tracking website also proclaims to have certifications from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
DomainTool says the hacker group is likely connected to a series of scammers involving other Android malware strikes. While the researchers claim the ransomware has yet to spread widely, they recommend users avoid downloading applications outside of the official Android app store.