Vaccine Website Seized After Stealing Data From Its Visitors
The Website “Freevaccinecovax.Org” Was Used for Fraud, Phishing Attacks, and Possible Deployment Of Malware.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland shut down a fake COVID-19 vaccine website that was stealing the visitors’ data.
The website looked exactly like a biotechnology company that is actually working on the vaccine for COVID-19, but it was being used by cybercriminals for nefarious activities like “fraud, phishing attacks, and/or deployment of malware.” On the website now a large banner saying it has been seized by the federal government can be seen.
This website is one of the thousands that appeared since the begging of the pandemic, back in 2020, with cybercriminals leveraging the fear and interest spiked around COVID-19.
The website seized by the authorities was created on the 27th of April, having the logos of a number of well-known healthcare organizations like the World Health Organization, Pfizer, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees featured on its front page.
The website was collecting the personal information of its users by asking them to enter their location, after they were providing this info a PDF file that users could fill out and upload was automatically downloaded.
COVID-19 has been the gift that keeps on giving for fraud artists over the past year.
While authorities are to be lauded for shutting down this domain, one wonders how many more of them pushing similar fraudulent schemes are out there on the internet. Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? Moreover, how long will it be before the parties behind this operation simply set up another domain and continue their operations?
This type of website is offering the bad actors a wide range of potential social engineering schemes, therefore the users need to be extremely careful with their personal information at all times.