Hackers have been coming up with a host of devious ways to use your natural fears in order to infect your Windows PC with malware and ransomware.

Simple things that you can do are

  1. DO NOT CLICK ON LINKS AND ATTACHMENTS
  2. INSTALL A PREMIUM VERSION OF MALWAREBYTES
  3. BACKUP YOUR DATA IN 2 OR 3 LOCATIONS IN CASE YOU NEED TO RESTORE. You can use USB backup drives and USB Flash Drives for smaller amounts of data

How bad is it? The security company Malwarebytes calls the pandemic “a golden opportunity for threat actors to capitalize on fear, spread misinformation, and generate mass hysteria — all while compromising victims with scams or malware campaigns.”

The hackers bent on doing this range from individuals looking to make as much fast money as possible to governments targeting their adversaries. Malwarebytes notes that government-sponsored hackers from China, North Korea, Russia and Pakistan are exploiting coronavirus fears in order to spy on their enemies. The group APT36, believed to be sponsored by Pakistan, uses spearphishing to trick people worried about the health of their loved ones into downloading a malicious Microsoft Office document that then infects a Windows machine with a remote administration tool (RAT) that lets hackers take control of the computer. The email purports to be an important health advisory about the novel coronavirus, and the downloaded document claims to be an advisory as well. The documents are almost laughably illiterate, containing sentences such as, “The outbreak of CORONA VIRUS is cause of concern especially where forign personal have recently arrived or will be arriving at various Intt in near future.”

Entire industries are under attack from hackers using these types of Windows-based coronavirus scams and hacks. The security company Proofpoint found that coronavirus-themed ransomware and Trojan cyber-campaigns have targeted U.S. healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals industries. Proofpoint warns, “To date, the cumulative volume of coronavirus-related email lures now represents the greatest collection of attack types united by a single theme that our team has seen in years, if not ever. We’ve observed credential phishing, malicious attachments, malicious links, business email compromise (BEC), fake landing pages, downloaders, spam, and malware, among others, all leveraging coronavirus lures.”

As millions of people have started working from home for the first time because of the need to minimize time spent out in the world, hackers are directly exploiting that as well. Many businesses allow their at-home workers to remotely access enterprise data and resources using Microsoft’s Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which has proved to be notoriously insecure. The security company Radware warns, “While RDP can be a very effective tool to let users quickly connect to a remote desktop and perform their daily tasks from home, threat actors have been known to leverage RDP as an attack vector for ransomware campaigns. It gained traction in 2018 and by Q1 of 2019, it was by far the most preferred infection vector for ransomware.” As a result, the company warns, RDP is one of the most dangerous Windows attack vectors being used by coronavirus hackers.

For Remote Access you are better off paying for a secure remote access software like Logmein