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Malicious Websites Posing as Informational COVID-19 Websites and Emails

Unfortunately, nothing seems to be off limits for the bad guys.

According to a recent Forbes article, “Research released Thursday shows crooks and snoops have been rapidly registering vast numbers of potentially-malicious websites and sending out masses of scam emails as they try to make money from the pandemic.”


Which websites have been identified as malicious already?

According to that same article, Lindsay Kaye, director of operation outcomes at Recorded Future, specifically called out the following domains as potentially dangerous:

  • coronavirusstatus[.]space
  • coronavirus-map[.]com
  • blogcoronacl.canalcero[.]digital
  • coronavirus[.]zone
  • coronavirus-realtime[.]com
  • coronavirus[.]app
  • bgvfr.coronavirusaware[.]xyz
  • coronavirusaware[.]xyz

Forbes also had Bernardo Quintero, founder of the Google-owned malware repository and anti-virus testing service VirusTotal, take a look at the domains reported by Recorded Future.  He said the following websites also showed signs of malicious behavior, as they’re being detected by anti-virus software:

  • corona-virus[.]healthcare
  • survivecoronavirus[.]org
  • vaccine-coronavirus[.]com
  • coronavirus[.]cc
  • bestcoronavirusprotect[.]tk
  • coronavirusupdate[.]tk

Those domains are also being used to send phishing emails. So, for example, if you see an email from anyone @corona-virus[.]healthcare, report it as spam immediately and do not open it.


It’s Not Just Scammers

According to Forbes, “It’s not just opportunistic scammers who’re making the most out of coronavirus. Espionage groups associated with China, North Korea and Russia have been seen sending out spear phishing emails trying to find routes onto business networks.” Be especially careful with your work email, as you can put your entire company at risk, even if you’re working from your home network, especially as Working From Home is becoming more common.

This is not limited to specific companies, entire industries are being targeted as well.


How can you stay safe?

As always, make sure you good Cyber Hygiene. Do not open suspicious or unfamiliar emails. If you want to do research about COVID-19, proceed with caution.

While researching is important, it’s just as important to stay vigilant and only trust known sources (such as Forbes), especially with this reported rise in malicious websites and emails around COVID-19.  Many of those websites look extremely legitimate, and our guess is that they would rank really well on organic search as well.

Stay safe out there, both with cyber security as well as your health. Until the next Malware Monday.

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