Current COVID case numbers are through the roof. Whether down to state-level or your neighborhood, most people are interested to see where the hotspots are. What are your chances of getting COVID? CDC map charts breakthrough cases.
There are plenty of resources that can give you a quick overview of what is going on, with the most reliable being the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But there is a new COVID-related phishing scam making the rounds that you need to know about. If you fall for it, your device could be infected with malware.
Here’s the backstory
Hiding behind the premise of helpful information on the latest omicron variant stats, an email has been making the rounds recently. On the surface, it seems harmless, but it contains much more than just statistics.
The phishing email claims to link to an app that gives omicron statistics. But if you follow the link and try to download the app, a new version of RedLine malware be installed onto your device. We have detailed the dangers of RedLine before. Tap or click here for a recent example.
RedLine malware is regularly used by cybercriminals and is easily available on the Dark Web. Thieves can purchase different versions of RedLine for a couple of hundred bucks and use it to steal critical information from victims. They use it to steal things like banking information and account credentials.
As reported by BleepingComputer, over half of all the stolen user details available on the black market have been gathered through the use of RedLine. Some of the details that the malware attempts to steal include:
- Passwords stored in your browser
- VPN details
- Credit card information
- Cryptocurrency wallet details
- The details and specifications of your computer
What you can do about it
The phishing email’s subject line will contain a variation purporting to be an app that will show you the latest COVID-19 stats. An executable file is attached, called Omicron Stats.exe, and once you click on it the RedLine malware will go to work.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe:
- Never click links found in unsolicited emails. If you open emails from unknown senders, don’t click on the links. Clicking on links is a sure-fire way to end up on a malicious site. You can hover over the link to see what the URL is — and this should give you an idea of whether or not it’s a real site you want or need to visit.
- Don’t download attachments. If you aren’t expecting an email with an attachment but receive one, contact the sender if you know them. If you don’t know them, don’t download it.
- Stick with trusted sites. Want the most recetn COVID information? Visit trustworthy sites like the CDC and WHO to get it.
- Your first line of defense is antivirus software. Keep it running and keep it updated! We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Get the Best Security Suite for 2021 and save an exclusive 80% at TotalAV.com/Kim. That’s just $19 for an entire year of protection.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.