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Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaAvira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag IndiaPosted: 11 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTEvery computer needs antivirus protection, and one way companies can support that aim is to provide free antivirus to the masses. But these companies can't survive unless some users shell out their hard-earned cash for paid antivirus utilities. Piling on pro-only tools and components is one way companies encourage upgrading to a paid antivirus. Avira Antivirus Pro adds several components not available to users of Avira Free Security, but they don't really add much value. The biggest reason to pay for it is if you want to use Avira in a commercial setting, which isn't allowed with the free version.Avira's pricing is undeniably on the high side, with a list price of $59.88 per year for one license, $71.88 for three, and $95.88 for five. Admittedly, it seems to be perpetually on sale; just now, the one-license price is discounted to $44.99. That…

Fake govt COVID-19 contact tracking app spreads Android ransomware - HackRead

Fake govt COVID-19 contact tracking app spreads Android ransomware - HackRead


Fake govt COVID-19 contact tracking app spreads Android ransomware - HackRead

Posted: 24 Jun 2020 12:38 PM PDT

Attackers are impersonating the Canadian government's COVID-19 contact tracing app which is yet to be released for public.

Governments around the world have been taking measures to combat the Coronavirus. One tactic involved is the use of contact tracing apps to help track down individuals who may have been in contact with a victim of the virus, therefore being at risk themselves.

One such country happens to be Canada who recently announced the release of an app named "COVID Alert" which will be available to Canadians countrywide in just over a month's time.

See: Chinese COVID-19 detection firm hacked; source code sold on dark web

However, attackers haven't waited and have already started an impersonation campaign by releasing a fake Android app that claims to be from Health Canada but in actuality is a devious piece of malware leading to ransomware infection.

This reminds us of a recent report in which hackers were caught impersonating fake government-issued COVID-19 contact tracing apps to spread spyware.

As discovered by researchers from ESET, the attackers were offering the app's APK through two domain names, namely tracershield[.]ca and covid19tracer[.]ca, both of which are not active now.

The campaign works in such a way that once the user installs the application, it leads to ransomware named CryCryptor being installed on their devices. The malware then requests permissions to access files on the device after which it subsequently starts encrypting the data involving different file extensions.

These files are encrypted using AES & a 16 character key which is generated randomly. Furthermore, the original file is deleted and 3 other files are created by the malware, all appended with the ".enc" extension.

See: Fake Coronavirus apps hit Android & iOS users with spyware, adware

To brief a bit more on this, the researchers have stated that additionally alongside "the algorithm generates a salt unique for every encrypted file, stored with the extension '.enc.salt'; and an initialization vector, '.enc.iv'" as shown in the photo below.

Once this process is done, the user is notified of this "good news" by the attackers through a notification that states "Personal files encrypted, see readme_now.txt". The user is given instructions on what to do next within the file as shown below.

As for who's behind this all, the source code of the ransomware has been found on Github named CryDroid claiming to be a research project but we all know – that's not the truth. As a result, these developments have been reported to Github. ESET states in its blog post that,

We dismiss the claim that the project has research purposes – no responsible researcher would publicly release a tool that is easy to misuse for malicious purposes.

To conclude, currently, ESET has managed to create a decryption app for this malware helping infected users to disinfect their devices.

For the future, it is expected that Canadian authorities take a leading role in educating their citizens about the status of the app so they do not fall prey to such scams.

See: Fake version of note sharing site Privnote.com stealing users' Bitcoin

Users are again advised to avoid making any downloads from any third-party app stores and even carefully evaluating apps within the Google Play Store before downloading them. Also, install reliable anti-virus software and scan your device regularly.

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Mobile Anti Malware Market 2020: Potential Growth, Challenges, and Know the Companies List Could Potentially Benefit or Loose out From the Impact of COVID-19 | Key Players: Symantec, Sophos, Mcafee, Avast Software, AVG Technologies, etc. | InForGrowth - 3rd Watch News

Posted: 24 Jun 2020 07:01 AM PDT

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