“As the coronavirus originating in the Wuhan province of China continues to stir widespread fears about a global public health crisis, some see an opportunity in the outbreak. A recent spate of malicious, botnet-driven emails is using the coronavirus as a theme, according to telemetry from IBM X-Force and Kaspersky.
In the campaign seen by IBM X-Force, the emails purport to have attached notices regarding infection-prevention measures for the disease. And rather ironically, one virus is being used as a pretext to distribute another – specifically, the notorious Emotet trojan.
Most of the emails have been seen written in Japanese, researchers said – suggesting that the operators are intentionally targeting geographic regions that may be more impacted by the outbreak given their locations in Asia. The subject of the emails contains the current date and the Japanese word for “notification,” in order to up the ante on giving a sense of urgency.”