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Hackers Take Advantage Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak By Using “Special Hacking Services” on Dark Net

"We've seen a substantial upswing in the number of coronavirus related domains registered in just the past few weeks" said Yaniv Balmas, Head of Cyber Research at Check Point

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In a previous report, Check Point found that coronavirus-related domains are 50 per cent more likely to be malicious than other domains registered during the same period, and also higher than recent seasonal themes. Pixabay

Even as the spread of coronavirus hit businesses across the world, hackers are taking advantage of the situation by offering their “goods” at discounted rates on the dark net including Facebook hacking services and fake MacBook Air offer, researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point Research have discovered.

Special offers by different hackers promoting their “goods” – usually malicious malware or exploit tools – are being sold over the dark net under special offers with ‘COVID19’ or “coronavirus” as discount codes, targeting wannabe cyber-attackers.

Some of the “goods” available to purchase at special rates include “WinDefender bypass” and “Build to bypass email and chrome security.” A group of hackers that go by the name of SSHacker, that describe themselves as “dedicated to providing the best hacking services since 2005” is now offering the service of hacking into Facebook accounts at a discounted rate, the research found.

Besides, there are many fake online “sales” offering premium goods at unbelievable prices. A seller that goes by the name of “True Mac” offers the “most-loved Mac” model – MacBook Air – at a price of $390 as a “corona special offer”. “As the old expression puts it, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Check Point Research wrote in a blog.

“We’ve seen a substantial upswing in the number of coronavirus related domains registered in just the past few weeks” said Yaniv Balmas, Head of Cyber Research at Check Point.

“Furthermore, we are seeing hackers use the attention on COVID-19 to spread their harmful “goods” in as many places as possible through COVID-19 specials and discounts on the dark net. The end result is more malicious tools in more wrong hands during this unique period of time, which puts us all more at security risk during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Balmas added.

Connection, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Virus, China
Even as the spread of coronavirus hit businesses across the world, hackers are taking advantage of the situation by offering their “goods” at discounted rates on the dark net including Facebook hacking services and fake MacBook Air offer, researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point Research have discovered. Pixabay

In a previous report, Check Point found that coronavirus-related domains are 50 per cent more likely to be malicious than other domains registered during the same period, and also higher than recent seasonal themes. Since the beginning of January, during the period where initial outbreaks were being reported, over 16,000 new coronavirus-related domains were registered.

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In the past three weeks since the end of February, the average number of new domains is almost 10 times more than the average number found in previous weeks, Check Point Research said, adding that 0.8 per cent of these domains were found to be malicious, and another 19 per cent were found to be suspicious.

In the last week, more than 6,000 new domains were registered – a 85 per cent increase compared to the week before, the company said. (IANS)

Next Story

Weakning Demand Caused by Coronavirus Pandemic To Impact Indian Smartphone Market

Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base

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Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base. Pixabay

More than the supply concerns, weakening demand due the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus is set to impact the India smartphone market the most, according to a projection by market research firm techARC.

During the calendar year 2020, demand is likely to be low particularly during the April-August period. “There can be no qualitative deterministic measurement of the impact done in this situation. There are so many uncertainties around and the situation is impacting both the supply and the demand side of the market,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.

“We expect supply chain to resume in June in India. Thus April and May will be the worst affected months in terms of shipments, be it out of China or in India,” Kawoosa added. What is more worrying is the weakening demand as consumers are now focusing on spending their money only on essentials like food and medicine.

“Only those requiring a smartphone in case of breakdown will be the primary buyers. The elective upgrades and replacements will be at minimal,” said Kawoosa. Supply, including the channels (offline as well as online) should be back to normal in September. This will be fundamentally triggered by ground-up to festive season.

Smartphone
More than the supply concerns, weakening demand due the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus is set to impact the India smartphone market the most, according to a projection by market research firm techARC. Pixabay

But even during the October-December quarter, demand could be lukewarm due to the the macro-economic scenario by then as well as fear of the viral infection resurfacing towards the winter. “Only if, there would be a vaccination available by then at mass scale, the market could see revival, but not at the normal levels,” Kawoosa said, adding that the smartphone industry will have to look at other revenues, especially service-oriented offerings, to offset the gap which will arise due to low sales of smartphones in 2020.

Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base.

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“They need to further look for more paying services to narrow the gap between the potential earnings through sale of hardware and the actual revenues they can realise in 2020,” said the report. (IANS)