Hackers target Bangladeshis by creating fake COVID information website

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-02-19 02:23:49 BdST

Hackers have attempted to steal personal information of citizens by creating a fake website identical to the government’s web portal for information about coronavirus.

The fake website, corona-bd.com, has a similar address to the government’s corona.gov.bd.

The hackers also lure people with claims they can deliver COVID-19 shots “on a priority basis”.

Once a citizen inputs the information for the vaccine, the NID number, date of birth and other important personal details will go directly to the hackers.

Bangladeshis have also been targeted by a phishing website, imei.today, which looks similar to www.imei.info, an original website where people can check the validity of their mobile device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI number.

The hackers can use the IMEI number to steal personal information if someone uses the fake website.

The government’s Computer Incident Response Team or CIRT has issued an alert to several financial and government organisations over a possible cyber-attack after detecting the activities of the hackers.

Tarique M Barkatullah, project director of CIRT, said the hackers may use the personal information to steal money from bank customers’ accounts.

IT experts said the hacking activities currently centre around issues of public interest, such as the coronavirus.

The hackers have become more active also because of growing transactions online and via mobile financial services amid the pandemic.

CIRT says a group called ‘KASABLANKA’ is behind the “high risk” threats and the hackers are targeting Bangladeshi websites with malware attacks.

"There is no indication that the attack was carried out for financial gains. However, it could become a serious threat, which could lead to the theft of important information or large-scale financial losses,” it said in a statement.

Bangladesh Bank spokesman Serajul Islam said the central bank and commercial banks are “well protected” against the recent attacks.

Citing IT officials of the central bank, Serajul said the hackers are trying to steal customer information in the attacks.

Arfan Ali, managing director of Bank Asia, and BRAC Bank’s spokesman Ekram Kabir said they have not faced any problem but taken extra precaution.

CIRT says the hackers are targeting devices with Windows or Android operating systems by sending malware to steal data from microphone or camera of mobile phone and computer.  

It called on the victims of cyber-attacks to be mindful of cybersecurity and report suspicious actions to https://www.cirt.gov.bd/incident-reporting.