COVID-19 Tracer App Scam

Many of you have heard about the updates to iPhones and Android devices. They are setting up to allow your phone to utilize a COVID-19 tracer app. (for more info see HERE)

These apps are designed to track your movements in relation to others via your cellphones. They can inform you when you have been near anyone that has been tested positive for COVID-19. This allows you to be aware of potential exposure.

If you avoid the “Big Brother” watching you issues this brings up, it can be a useful app. But of course, the hackers of the world know this too.

Canada recently announced it was going to be coming out with its own app, and already, there have been two fake Malware apps claiming to be COVID-19 tracer apps. These two websites offered what appeared to be the Health Canada tracing app. Tracershield.ca and covid19tracer.ca. Both of these sites are now defunct, but if you had accessed them and downloaded the app, you would have been infected with CryCryptor ransomware.

As these legitimate apps do come out and if you opt to use one of them, (yes you do have a choice), make sure you are downloading a legitimate app. There are two things you should verify before downloading.

  1. They have been announced by a legitimate, reputable source. Please note that you get the name and spelling correct from that site to retrieve the correct app.
  2. They will be released in the Google play store or Apple IOS store as both of those sources vet apps and verify they are legitimate.

This is still not a 100% guarantee, but you should never download apps directly from any website. So, beware of any site telling you they have an app, but it is not in those stores. They are most likely scams.

Have IT Questions?

I'm ready to answer them. - Greg

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Greg Durnan is the Owner/President of AcaciaIT and very active in the business community of Southern Arizona. One of the founding members of the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce he is very concerned about the needs of businesses in Arizona. He also strives to educate clients on Computer and Network Security through Lunch and Learns, articles, and webinars.

On the weekends he enjoys spending time with his wife and son at their ranch in Vail and working with horses.