March 19, 2020

When to Share Covid-19 Information

When to Share Covid-19 Information

Is this a good source of COVID-19 info, or is it a tool to spread Malware?     

You may sometimes hear the phrase, 

“Never let a good crisis go to waste!”  

That is definitely the mindset of criminals.  They love the type of panic we are seeing with Covid-19—and yes, they did use this very map to prey on information-hungry people and spread malware.

People thought they were doing a good deed by sharing a site tracking the virus spread in their area. But bad guys were spreading their malicious software through the app. 

When they do this, are they stealing some personal data to sell, is it just a simple bitcoin miner, or is this step one to giving them remote access to your network?

It is important to spread useful information, but it is just as dangerous to spread false information or malicious software. 

So, what can you do?

We recommend to our friends and family that they stick to text information and do some simple fact-checking before passing it on. Avoid those cool looking programs and fancy cell phone apps that appeared when right when the virus hit.

If you would like to know how to keep up to date beyond watching the morning and evening news, below are some links to great resources of additional information:

Reddit has been doing a great job of merging together all of the data from the various Covid-19 discussions each week into a weekly Megathread and pinning it to the top of the news page. 

Here is this week’s:

And here is the main news page so you can find next week’s thread when it is pinned:

They also maintain a live thread here:

Here is some great information from the thread:

Tracking COVID-19

One of our senior engineers went over the article, Live Coronavirus Map Used to Spread Malware, and sifted out the important information in a way us “normal people” can understand. Thanks, Andy for the great information!