RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This week, cybersecurity experts are issuing a warning surrounding the deadly coronavirus outbreak, with the potential to infect your computers and others.
“It’s getting their attention, because everyone’s been in tune, around the world, on this virus,” Raleigh cybersecurity expert Giovanni Masucci said.
Officials with the cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky, said they’ve found malicious files posing as .pdfs, .mp4s and .docx files, indicating they contain video instructions on how to protect yourself from the virus, updates on the threat, and virus detection procedures.
“These cyber criminals that do this, most of them, they’re looking to profit,” Masucci said. “They’re going on the popularity of the coronavirus, and people wanting to know the information. How to protect themselves. Is it spreading, and so on.”
They said these malicious files actually contain threats, including Trojans and worms, that Masucci believes could lead to lots of damage for you and others.
“It multiplies, and spreads through networks, so, if the individual is connected to a network, it could spread to other computers on the network,” he said. “It can steal sensitive data. It can corrupt a computer system. It can take personal data and continue to spread, just like we’re seeing the actual coronavirus is spreading around the world.”
Masucci recommends you stay aware and away from anything suspicious.
“It only takes one person to affect a whole network on a computer system, or within a corporation, or within your own network in your home,” he said.
According to Kaspersky officials, their products detect “coronavirus” related malicious files with names like these:
Kaspersky officials tell us they’ve only seen 10 unique files, but expect that number could grow.
They also recommend avoiding suspicious links advertising exclusive content, use official sources for information and pay attention to the download file extension. They add documents and video files shouldn’t have been made either .exe or .lnk formats.