Covidlock: A Tracking Application infecting Android Smartphones
By Yash Kudal
Over the past few months, there are number of reports of hackers using the global COVID-19 pandemic to attack users to steal financial credentials and now in the latest trend, cyber criminals have launched a malicious coronovirus software application.
When any user comes to the site, they will be asked to download the Android app. It claims to provide data on the spread of the disease through epidemics in addition to country-wise estimates of COVID-19 infection, recovery and mortality. Once installed, the Coronavirus app, it will show ‘CovidLock’ screen and will take control of the phone completely and prevent the user from unlocking the phone.
CovidLock is seeking a $ 100 ransom on bitcoins for victims and if not within 48 hours, it warns to permanently delete all contacts, videos, photos, messages and other personal information by phone. It also threatens to leak public account user IDs and passwords to public online platforms.
No word on how many fell victim to CovidLock malware. To avoid being caught, people are advised not to install the Android app from an external app store or from non-standard websites. Always download apps from official Google Play stores only.
Here’s how to protect your phones and computers from such malicious applications
1) Whether you have a portable Android or PC-based PC or Windows-powered PC or Mac computer, always update your devices with the latest software. All three of Google, Microsoft, and Apple regularly send firmware updates especially security patches on a monthly or priority basis, whenever they receive threats. Therefore, be sure to install the latest software.
2) Another good practice is to install premium Antivirus software, which provides 24×7 protection. Equip yourself with immediate threats whenever you visit a unknown website and always check if it “https” or just “http”.
4) Never open emails or SMS and click on the URL links sent from anonymous senders
5) Also, never install apps or software from unknown publishers
6) Always download apps from Google Play or Apple App Store or Windows Store only. Never install from any third-party app store