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Coronavirus, boom of Fake News via instant messenger

Fake News boom related to Coronavirus. Cyber ​​security experts: The main vector are instant messenger services, following the fact that people in this period connect to internet and social media especially from smartphones and tablets

Fake News boom related to Coronavirus. This is confirmed by cyber security experts from various police forces globally, stressing that the vector – in addition to email – is above all instant messaging services such as WhatsApp. In the past few hours, false data related to the COVID-19 pandemic or alleged government measures have been released in several countries. There are also conspiracy theories. The more complex ones use true and authoritative information or sources as a basis, in which totally false data are inserted. In several cases, moreover, in the text they invite users to click on the link for further information. The goal is to steal sensitive information or install malware on their mobile devices. It has been found, in fact, that in this period connections to the internet and social media take place mainly through smartphones and tablets.

Instant messaging services and panic over COVID-19 are the two key elements for the hoaxes surge. Some spread them as tacky jokes, others to scam users with phishing and malware

The spread of Fake News related to Coronavirus is having a surge in recent days, thanks to two elements. The first is the panic of the population and in many cases the obligation to stay at home. Following this, there is a constant search for new information on multiple platforms: from internet to social media, passing through instant messaging services. The second are the instant messengers. Thanks to their immediacy and the ability to “turn” content to many contacts, any news can become viral in a very short time. Furthermore, cyber security experts explain that the reasons why hoaxes are conveyed range from tacky jokes to attempts of scams with phishing or malware. So, especially in relation to a pandemic like COVID-19, it is imperative to rely solely and exclusively on official sources and avoid sharing content that you are not sure of.

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