While the world is struggling to find a strategy to defeat the Coronavirus which claimed more than 102,000 lives globally, scammers picked this critical time to run their illegal works using online platforms.
Apart from malware attacks and fake apps, someone has been using the dark web while claiming to sell blood and saliva samples of a Coronavirus infected person.
Scammer using the dark web
It should be noted that the scam advertisement was found in the dark web market site called Own Shop. The ad claims to offer the blood for a hefty price tag of $1000. As reported, in the post, the creator of the ad wrote that "I do this to provide for my family financially." However, this is not the only scam ad that became popular in the underground market as there are many similar ads that offer tests or treatments for the COVID-19. In the dark web, many scammers have also posted ads for fake temperature detectors and vaccines claiming to cure new Coronavirus.
As per global intelligence firm IntSights, the limited availability of coronavirus testing kits, especially in countries like the US, leads to demand for such products in black markets but the products are not real and these posts are made just to scam people.
The threat actors are currently using tags like "Corona" and "COVID" while registering new websites to trick people to fell into their scam. Cybersecurity researchers have found a surge in the numbers of such fake domains. They found that which in 2019 there was only 190 domain which has these tags, now by March there are more than 38,000 registered domains. Even though some of these domains are legitimate but the majority of these sites are fake.
Using Coronavirus pandemic as a source of income
Before the Coronavirus hit the world in December 2019, there were several reports that showcased how the world agencies and the government organizations became the major targets of ransomware attackers, who hacked several hospital servers last year.
Now the hackers are using the Coronavirus pandemic to force people to pay to unlock their systems. One of these cybercriminals wrote that "If I want, I could even infect your whole family with the coronavirus, reveal all your secrets. There are countless things I could do."
As reported by IntSights, they found that threat actors are using the fear among people about the Coronavirus outbreak as they noticed that such tactics work. The security researchers said, "We have also observed similar psychological tactics used in sextortion scams, in which the threat actor tells the victim that he has access to the victim's camera or photos with evidence of wrongdoing."
To make things run according to their terms, the hackers also tried sending malware documents, created like official health documents from the likes of China to conduct phishing attacks. It was also noticed that one group of cybercriminals has shared a malicious version of the John Hopkins Coronavirus Map, which has been heavily circulated.