Malware Shared Via Zika Virus Email Scam Used to Deliver

A Zika virus email scam has been uncovered following a healthcare supplier having its electronic health record system locked using ransomware.

This email scam tries to prosper thank to the public interest in the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil. Since April last year, the amount of reported instances of Zika fever has grown. Zika fever is caused by the transmission of the Zika virus by Aedes mosquitoes. Zika fever produces similar symptoms to Dengue fever, although the symptoms are often less serious.

Scientists have also been warned regarding an increase in the number of cases of microcephaly reported in Brazil. Microcephaly is a birth defect in babies being born with a smaller than average head along with other poor pregnancy outcomes. The surge in microcephaly has been linked to the rise in instances of the Zika virus.

While no definitive proof has been found to suggest that pregnant women contracting Zika are likely to give birth to babies with microcephaly, there is some worry that Zika can lead to birth defects. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the virus has now spread to 23 countries. People are naturally concerned. Women in Brazil and Columbia have been told to avoid pregnancy while the government in El Salvador has told women not to get pregnant until at least 2018.

A global health with the magnitude of Zika is naturally a worry for any woman looking to start a family, and understandably the latest reports regarding the virus is likely to be viewed. Scammers have been quick to take advantage of the media interest, and a scam has been formulated to take advantage and infect computers with malware

The Zika virus email scam is currently being spread in Brazil and is being issued in Portuguese. The Zika virus email scam seems to have been sent from Saúde Curiosa (Curious Health), which is a legitimate health and wellness entity in Brazil. The email includes an attachment infected with JS.Downloader. JS. Downloader is a malware that is used to place malicious malware on infected users’ devices.

The subject line of the email reads “ZIKA VIRUS! ISSO MESMO, MATANDO COM ÁGUA!” which translates as Zika Virus! That’s Right, killing it with water!” The email advises the recipient to click on the link included in the email to discover how to kill the mosquitos that carry the virus, although the email also includes a file attachment which the email recipient is asked to open. Doing so will download the malware onto the user’s device. The link sends the user to Dropbox with the same outcome.

Anyone who is sent an unsolicited email with advice about the Zika virus, regardless of the language it is written in, should deal the email carefully. This is unlikely to be the only Zika virus email scam issued by cybercriminals in 2016. With the Olympics being held in Brazil in the summer, hackers are likely to use topics such as the Zika virus to share malware.

If you want data regarding Zika, check the WHO website.

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Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has focus on data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone.