Malware Hunter Team discovers a ransomware from Iraq and related to the coronavirus, which exploits the Corona virus IQ. In the ransom letter the request is only $ 10 and it is said that it is a charity collection for those who have been affected by the COVID-19
Coronavirus becomes ransomware, perhaps for charity. The cyber security experts of the Malware Hunter Team found out, intercepting a malicious code from Iraq. This, once the data is encrypted on the victim’s computer, shows a very special ransom letter. “We apologize for interrupting your business – reads the text -. Your computer has been infected with the virus Corona. You may have downloaded an infected program as well. Be careful in the upcoming times when you do it. Also, don’t forget to wear masks and gloves in real life. We are currently working to collect donations for people affected by COVID-19. We therefore require that you pay $ 10 dollars to recover your computer. Thank you in advance”. The message is written in English and Arabic.
Cyber security experts are divided on whether it is a real extortion/donation linked to the pandemic or yet another cybercrime trick
It is unclear whether Corona IQ ransomware is actually a fundraising initiative that passes through malware or an attempt by cybercrime to profit. What is certain, in both cases, is that it is original. Cyber security experts are divided on this front. Some do not rule out that it may be real. Others, however, believe that it is a good trick by some criminal hackers. The latter, in support of their thesis, cite some elements. First of all, coronavirus and infections are a “very felt” bait by users and have a strong emotional weight. In addition, the ransom / donation request is extremely small ($ 10). Therefore the victims would be more tempted to pay and not report the incident to the authorities. Consequently, by playing on large numbers, there is the possibility of making very high profits with almost zero risks.