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Alert for cyber scams taking advantage of COVID-19, including a website that offers false diagnoses

Madrid / The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has alerted about fifteen cyber-scams that use the coronavirus as a decoy, including a website that offers false diagnoses of the disease, sources from this department have reported.

El País says that the latest reports from the National Center for the Protection of Infrastructures and Cybersecurity (CNPIC) have alerted those cyber-frauds in which malicious software disseminated through applications and a website has been used to attract victims with information to identify pandemic symptoms or maps.

Criminals prey on needy people

Inside cybersecurity experts highlight in their reports that criminals take advantage of the vulnerability of people in need to access information about the disease through the internet and social networks to find out the latest news of the pandemic or buy face masks for example .

Cybercriminals have them install new applications on their electronic devices or visit web pages to obtain personal data and take control of their computers and mobile phones.

The virus that offers masks and crashes your computer

Thus, a computer virus has been detected that makes copies of itself until the computers it infects have collapsed and that arrives through a mobile message that offers an application with which to obtain sanitary masks.

The link leads to a fake page to buy them that is used to steal the data of the card of the deceived user.

Looting of bank accounts

Five cases of applications have been detected whose main objective is to loot the bank accounts of the victims.

In one of them the criminals get the malicious software to be downloaded by camouflaging it as an application of the World Health Organization (WHO) to track “the great epidemic”.

The software that hijacks and asks for ransom

To which the CNPIC experts devote the most attention is malicious software that is considered especially dangerous for critical infrastructures, which locks the user’s files and devices and then claims the payment of a ransom “online”.

The authorities have traced the origin of a malicious website of these characteristics to a man in Morocco who ran a page about apparent sex dating and pornography.

In one of the messages used to capture victims by these cybercriminals, the recipient is asked if they think they are infected and do not know what to do, download the application in order to carry out an alleged test by the Ministry of Health and thus “relieve the health services and authorities in their goal of containing the spread of the virus ”and then asks him to spread it among the contacts.

The experts of the Interior consider that the economic harm to the victim is compounded by the risk of false diagnoses and the wrong location of the foci of infection by the coronavirus.

Cybercrime has exploded in March

Cybercrime numbers have soared in March to coincide with the declaration of the coronavirus as a global pandemic.

The National Cryptologic Center has detected this month an increase of 70 percent in the so-called “phishing”, a technique that consists of supplanting another service to access the victims’ bank accounts.

In this case, emails that pretend to be from Spanish public bodies linked to the coronavirus are being sent. (March 23, 2020, EFEAGRO / PracticaEspañol)

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Question 1
En el texto se dice que...
el número de ciberestafas se han reducido notablemente tras haberse producido la crisis del coronavirus.
se están produciendo unas ciberestafas relacionadas con el COVID-19.
el Ministerio del Interior asegura que no se ha producido ninguna ciberestafa que esté relacionada con el COVID-19.
Question 2
Según el texto...
los ciberestafadores se aprovechan de la situación causada por el coronavirus para atraer a sus víctimas.
se desconoce por qué ahora ha aumenado el número de ciberestafas.
los expertos descartan que los ciberestafadores quieran aprovecharse de los más necesitados.
Question 3
En el texto se dice que...
se desmiente que haya una ciberestafa relacionada con la adquisición de mascarillas sanitarias.
los expertos no creen que los ciberdelicuentes puedan hacerse con las cuentas bancarias de sus víctimas con alguna de esas ciberestafas.
algunos atraen a sus víctimas utilizando una web para saber cuáles son los síntomas del COVID-19.
Question 4
Según el texto...
los expertos no creen que los ciberestafadores se hagan pasar por la OMS para atraer a sus víctimas.
los ciberestafadores consiguen controlar el dispositivo móvil después de que su víctima haya instalado la aplicación.
aún no está claro si los ciberestafadores logran obtener datos personales de sus víctimas a través de esas aplicaciones.
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