You’ve probably heard about a fair share of viruses that could infect your computer just from clicking a link in your email – from sweepstakes scams to fake password reset links from online shopping sites. Now there’s even more reason to be mindful of the emails you open and links you click: an Ebola hack could be lurking in your inbox.
According to The International Business Times, a new strain of malware is being distributed by hackers in the form of an email from the World Health Organization, WHO. The email is being sent with headlines like “Ebola Survival Guide” and “Health Alert: Ebola is Spreading.” If you open the email, hackers can easily take control of your computer.
The International Business Times points out the emails do not actually have any tips on avoiding Ebola, a disease which has killed and infected many people in West Africa and a few people in the United States. Instead of tips, emails allegedly from the WHO contain a DarkComet Remote Access Trojan (RAT) virus. The virus can elude your computer’s antivirus software and can take control of your files, webcam, passwords and other information.
This is the latest in the trend of hackers using high-visibility events to try to infect your computer. Hackers have also targeted email inboxes recently using headlines associated with the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 and the fighting going on between Ukraine and Russia.
The best way to avoid malware and other viruses is to be aware of emails you are opening. If you aren’t familiar with the sender, don’t open the email, and if you think a link looks suspicious, don’t click on it and delete the email.