Toilet paper and hand sanitizer ads are loaded with malware; don’t click on them

Cybersecurity firms and researchers say cybercriminal activity has increased significantly over the past month, noting that fraudulent content posted online related to the coronavirus issue has increased in greater proportion than any other issue exploited by threat actors.  

This criminal scheme involves the publication of fraudulent advertisements on multiple sites and the sending of propaganda via email related to two items that have increased their demand: toilet paper and hand sanitizer solution.

Right now, millions of users worldwide are vulnerable to this kind of fraudulent ads possibly loaded with some malware variants, as these products have begun to run low in self-service stores in some cities, mainly in the United States.

Specialists mention that a particularly vulnerable sector is hospitals, as some patients require constant care and the scarcity of this kind of supplies would become a further threat to their systems, so they must ensure the supply toilet paper and sanitizer liquid.

Another counterproductive factor is the number of companies, public institutions, and non-governmental organizations that are trying to disseminate information, recommendations, and actions implemented regarding the coronavirus outbreak, making it even more difficult for technology users to distinguish between legitimately crafted material and malicious content. In this regard, cybersecurity specialists recommend ignoring emails sent by unidentified users or alleged health companies and organizations, as well as using the official platforms of the authorities to consult the real status of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organizations such as the National Cybersecurity Centre in the United Kingdom have been constantly monitoring since the start of the coronavirus outbreak to detect malicious content on the Internet related to this issue, in order to prevent users about the risk of compromising their data and devices while searching for pandemic-related information.