As people seek out information about the spread of COVID-19, hackers are circulating fake dashboards that purport to show maps tracking the spread of coronavirus but that actually infect people’s computers with malware when opened.

People have flocked to COVID-19 dashboards maintained by media and health authorities that help track the spread of the virus as the number of confirmed cases.  Maps published by Johns Hopkins University or The New York Times are examples of reliable, non-malicious trackers.

The tactic starts with hackers circulating links to malicious websites disguised as COVID-19 maps, either on social media or through misleading emails. When people open the sites, they’re directed to open an applet that can infect their device with and steals data like login credentials. 

As always, be careful when seeking information from unknown websites.