In light of recent worldwide developments, Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), a data recovery service based in Irvine, California, has published an article discussing malware attacks motivated by the fear caused by the quickly spreading Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Hard Drive Recovery Group expounds on this further in their blog post, “Coronavirus: Not Just For Humans Anymore!”
Rising Fears Of COVID-19
At the time of writing, the COVID-19 death toll has reached a staggering 4,290, spreading rapidly over different countries and surpassing SARS at 774 deaths at the end of 2002. SARS is a virus associated with being genetically similar to COVID-19.
Because of rising fears among government officials and the general public alike, countries are taking extreme measures to isolate the virus and protect their residents. Currently, Italy is in lockdown, and several other countries might follow suit.
Because of this, fear among the general public is on the rise, prompting them to scour the internet for factual information about the virus. This information will sometimes be buried under piles of misleading information, which can be even more detrimental to the general public.
Hackers are capitalizing on the general public’s fears and thirst for information on the virus by creating and spreading malware through email. These emails mask themselves as offering informational guides on how to protect the user from COVID-19.
A malware (short for “malicious software”) is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user. These are written and spread by black hat hackers for personal gain or maliciousness.
These emails will ask a computer user to download "informational" documents riddled with malware which can steal a user’s personal information or damage their computer system or laptop.
This specific type of malware is known as “Emotet”. Emotet is a malware strain that spreads primarily through email spam (malspam). This is usually disguised as a document, mp3, or mp4 file attachment that is activated when the user unknowingly downloads the attachment in hopes of seeing something else of value.
“As the internet is a place of creativity and freedom, it can empower us to innovate as well as cooperate for great causes. However, just as easily, it can serve as a tool for malice and greed,” states Maureen Davies, spokesperson for HDRG. “It’s easy to get swept up in widespread panic when it’s all that you see. However, it’s crucial that we dispense our trust with caution.”
Typically, hackers create and spread malware for money by using them to infiltrate computer systems. They then place income-generating ads on your computer, which target you specifically, based on your personal information.
Safeguarding Your Computer System
Maureen Davies, speaking in place of HDRG, states, “Depending on the type of malware, repercussions can be as mild as an ad bomb or as severe as a large-scale data loss. Nevertheless, it’s always preferable not to suffer at all.”
It’s crucial to take the necessary steps to ensuring that one's data is protected. It’s always more expensive to lose data than take the precautions needed to protect it. A user may do the following to protect themselves from Emotet:
Verifying that a sender’s email is legitimate, looks clean, no randomly placed numbers or symbols. Taking extra care not to download suspicious files from unknown senders. Performing regular computer check-ups for malware using anti-virus software.
Davies comments, “In the event of data loss, consulting a data recovery service like HDRG will do wonders. Losing data can be a huge problem for business operations, but, fortunately, it’s completely reversible.”
Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.
from Hard Drive Recovery Group