New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Even as the spread of coronavirus hit businesses across the world, hackers are taking advantage of the situation by offering their "goods" at discounted rates on the dark net including Facebook hacking services and fake MacBook Air offer, researchers from cybersecurity firm Check Point Research have discovered.
Special offers by different hackers promoting their "goods" - usually malicious malware or exploit tools - are being sold over the dark net under special offers with 'COVID19' or "coronavirus" as discount codes, targeting wannabe cyber-attackers.
Some of the "goods" available to purchase at special rates include "WinDefender bypass" and "Build to bypass email and chrome security."
A group of hackers that go by the name of SSHacker, that describe themselves as "dedicated to providing the best hacking services since 2005" is now offering the service of hacking into Facebook accounts at a discounted rate, the research found.
Besides, there are many fake online "sales" offering premium goods at unbelievable prices.
A seller that goes by the name of "True Mac" offers the "most-loved Mac" model - MacBook Air - at a price of $390 as a "corona special offer".
"As the old expression puts it, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," Check Point Research wrote in a blog.
"We've seen a substantial upswing in the number of coronavirus related domains registered in just the past few weeks" said Yaniv Balmas, Head of Cyber Research at Check Point.
"Furthermore, we are seeing hackers use the attention on COVID-19 to spread their harmful "goods" in as many places as possible through COVID-19 specials and discounts on the dark net. The end result is more malicious tools in more wrong hands during this unique period of time, which puts us all more at security risk during the COVID-19 pandemic," Balmas added.
In a previous report, Check Point found that coronavirus-related domains are 50 per cent more likely to be malicious than other domains registered during the same period, and also higher than recent seasonal themes.
Since the beginning of January, during the period where initial outbreaks were being reported, over 16,000 new coronavirus-related domains were registered.
In the past three weeks since the end of February, the average number of new domains is almost 10 times more than the average number found in previous weeks, Check Point Research said, adding that 0.8 per cent of these domains were found to be malicious, and another 19 per cent were found to be suspicious.
In the last week, more than 6,000 new domains were registered - a 85 per cent increase compared to the week before, the company said.