The Federal Government has raised the alarm ove the existence of an Android-based malicious and fraudulent coronavirus Ransomware application, which claims to provide updates on COVID-19 and infections near the user.
We gathered that a ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.
This particular software, which is in the form of an Android app, is called “COVID19 Tracker”, and claims to provide the latest information on the virus around the user’s location.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed alerted Nigerians about the dangerous the Ransomware which blocks access to users’ personal data and accounts and threatens deletion, unless users pay $100 in Bitcoin within 48 hours.
“The Federal Government has alerted Nigerians to the existence of an Android-based malicious and fraudulent Coronavirus Ransomware Application, which claims to provide updates on the virus and infections near the user,” the statement reads.
“The Ransomware blocks access to users’ personal data and accounts and threatens deletion, unless users pay One Hundred US Dollars ($100) in Bitcoin within 48 hours.
“The Ransomware App, detected on the website: www.coronavirusapp.site, prompts users to download an Android App purportedly for coronavirus map tracking and heat map visuals.”
Alhaji Mohammed said the development confirms warnings against cyber criminals seeking to exploit the growing spread of the virus for nefarious gains.
He therefore called on the general public not to download the Ransomware App and to seek updates on the pandemic only from the appropriate authorities.