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Fake Covid-19 antivirus infects victims with trojan

(Image credit: Image Credit: JMiks / Shutterstock)

When it comes to the coronavirus and cyberthreats, we've seen all kinds - from spam and phishing emails , to ransomware and DDoS attacks against hospitals and other healthcare institutions.

However, researchers from Malwarebytes have discovered a new coronavirus-related scam called Corona Antivirus, which promises users physical protection via a Windows app.

The website reads: “Our scientists from Harvard University have been working on a special AI development to combat the virus using a windows (sic) app. Your PC actively protects you against the Coronaviruses (Cov) while the app is running.”

However, triggering the download does not install an antivirus, but rather injects malware and adds the victim's device to the BackNET RAT (Remote Access Trojan).

The RAT is capable of deploying DDOS attacks, taking screenshots, stealing Firefox cookies and saved passwords, implementing a keylogger, executing scripts and taking control of Bitcoin wallets.

“During this period, it is important to stay safe both at home and online. The number of scams we have seen during these past few weeks shows that criminals will take advantage of any situation, no matter how dire it is,” said Malwarebytes.

“We recommend that you keep your computer up to date and use extra caution when downloading new programs. Beware of instant notifications and other messages, even if they appear to come from friends.”