Coronavirus and the fake apps that steal your data
If you are interested in following the evolution of the Coronavirus epidemic closely, and you tend to look for information on new cases of the Covid-19 virus, be careful! Applications appear on the Internet that promise to facilitate access to critical information, but ultimately they intend to hack phones and extort money from their users.
What are these fake apps?
The experts from DomainTools have discovered the ‘COVID-19 Tracker’. An app that claims to offer updated information on the latest cases within your region or city, and even identifies when someone who has been infected by the virus is near you. If you download it, and grant the permissions that it asks us for, (under the guise of sending you regular updates), the app blocks the phone screen and shows us a message demanding a payment of $100 in bitcoin to be able to unlock it, among other threats.
Another app that has turned out to be spyware is called ‘Corona Live 1.1’. The US authorities discovered that it infects devices with a Trojan, through which it can access your location, and files, and even take photos and record videos without your permission.
The good news is that Google has already begun taking action against these types of apps, removing them from the Google Play Store and protecting all devices that have Android 7.0 or higher. Therefore, these apps can only be distributed in unofficial app stores or through social networks, where you should be especially vigilant in case of any type of suspicious information.
Where to find reliable information?
It is very likely that these two examples are not the only malicious apps that are circulating on the Internet at the moment. It is extremely important to have legitimate sources that help us stay informed without any risk. To follow Coronavirus cases in real-time, we recommend that you consult the John Hopkins University map here.
To be aware of everything that happens around the Coronavirus situation, Google has released a list of trusted and verified Coronvirus apps that they recommend.