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How Coronavirus Panic Created a Perfect Opportunity for Cyberattacks in Crucial Sectors?


In tough times like this, there is always someone out there looking for a weak spot to attack their enemy. The impact of Coronavirus today has devastated the socio-economic and political sectors; it has disrupted the commercial industry entirely, which has led to the fall of global trade and commerce, and unmistakably the panic and the terror among the people. Few people are already aware of this, but unfortunately, there still exist several people who are not aware of the fact that hackers are using it as an opportunity to exploit this vulnerability by launching cyberattacks.


For instance, recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services suffered a cyberattack while it was dealing with the coronavirus situation. However, none of the website's data and information was compromised. Still, according to the officials, hackers responsible for the attack are state-sponsored, looking for it as an opportunity to attack the working of the US departments and institutions. In other incidents, cyberattacks under the name of 'Wuhan Coronavirus' were launched in many countries. According to Kaspersky experts, ten files with the names of 'coronavirus-spread' contain malware, and file-encrypting infections are barging into systems and corrupting them.

The Potential Target Areas

1. Political: Cyber attacks can be launched on prominent political infrastructures like government ministries and health departments with the use of false information and misinformation. The latest DDoS attack on the US Department of health is just a beginning. False reports of 'nationwide lockdown' or 'nationwide quarantine' appeared in many countries like India and the US. The government is continuously working to expose these fake news by launching an official caution advisory on their websites requesting the public not to trust or share unverified information.

2. Criminal: The hackers are looking at it as an opportunity to launch cyberattacks. According to Checkpoint's Global Threat Index, "hackers around the globe have found the Coronavirus serving them well as an enabler for their activities. They are still riding the wave of the epidemic. Our Global Threat Index for January 2020 shows cyber-criminals are exploiting interest in the global epidemic to spread malicious activity, with several spam campaigns relating to the outbreak of the virus."

Microsoft Issues Its First Ever ‘Targeted’ Warning ; Saving VPN Servers of Hospitals


Following a recent disclosure about Iranian hackers targeting on vulnerabilities in VPN servers like the Pulse Secure, Palo Alto Systems, Fortinet, and Citrix, Microsoft gave its first-ever 'targeted' warning to a few dozen hospitals, informing them of the vulnerabilities in their own virtual private network (VPN) appliances.

With the organizations depending all the more heavily on the VPN servers as the lockdowns are in full swing of the unfortunate outbreak of the Corona Virus. They had no other option except to fall back to this means to help telecommuters but that in the end has made that specific part of the system a weakness i.e a soft spot for ransomware attackers to target – specifically at hospitals with already stressed assets.

The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA) a month ago cautioned all organizations to fix VPN services, however, Microsoft is especially worried about hospitals' vulnerability to human-operated ransomware due to unpatched VPN servers.

One group the Microsoft team has been following is the REvil, otherwise known as Sodinokibi, ransomware gang, which is known for setting monstrous ransom demands for businesses and government agencies.

While the ransomware gang hasn't yet developed new attack techniques but instead has repurposed strategies from state-sponsored attacks for new campaigns that exploit the heightened requirement for information in the current coronavirus crisis.

The Microsoft Threat Protection Intelligence Team uncovered in a new post, "Through Microsoft's vast network of threat intelligence sources, and we identified several dozens of hospitals with vulnerable gateway and VPN appliances in their infrastructure."

"To help these hospitals, many already inundated with patients, we sent out a first-of-its-kind targeted notification with important information about the vulnerabilities," it added later.

When mentioning these new ransomware gangs the Microsoft team noted, “We haven't seen technical innovations in these new attacks, only social engineering tactics tailored to prey on people's fears and the urgent need for information."

And so the Multinational Technology's recommendation to hospitals and various other organizations is to follow three key steps to shield their VPN services from attacks:

  • Apply all available security updates for VPN and firewall configurations. 
  • Monitor and pay special attention to your remote access infrastructure. 
  •  Turn on attack surface reduction rules, including rules that block credential theft and ransomware activity. 

Apart from these, there are a few more published by Microsoft to further help mitigate these attacks.

Armenian Minister of Justice explains how new software will find COVID-19 infected people


Armenian President Armen Sarkisian signed the bill on amendments to the law "on the legal regime of emergency" and "on electronic communication" adopted in the Parliament.
Earlier, the Opposition disrupted the bill on control against coronavirus. Opposition deputies called it an unacceptable interference in the personal life of citizens.

The government, however, has again submitted to the National Assembly a new bill that would control the telephone contacts and location of citizens in order to combat the coronavirus.
Justice Minister Rustam Badasyan said at a press conference in the government on Wednesday that the program for monitoring citizens in Armenia will allow identifying potential infected persons using an automatic algorithm. The subjective factor is excluded here.

The approved draft amendments to the law "on electronic communication" allows monitoring the movement of citizens using data from mobile operators.

If it turns out that a user (Person X) has detected a coronavirus, the program will automatically allocate all those whom Person X made at least one call in the last 14 days, and with whom he personally contacted (the state can also collect this data from operators).

At the same time, as the Minister noted, it is necessary that these two factors coincide. In other words, if Person X called Person Y 20 times but never saw him, Person Y will not be at risk.

Only those with whom Person X at least once called up and saw each other are at risk. But this does not mean that all of them will be sent to quarantine. Emergency workers will call them and find out the circumstances of their contacts.

The Minister stressed that the program for the new system was developed in Armenia. Data on the movement of citizens will not be available to foreign companies and governments, and inside the country will be deleted immediately after the end of the state of emergency.
It should be noted that in Armenia from March 16 to April 14 a state of emergency is in place to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Why Hackers are Taking Advantage of COVID-19?


Cybersecurity threats have seen a massive upsurge since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced a majority of people to work from home which now is leading to attacks on remote workforces. Amid the anxiety it created, hackers have devised multiple ways to take advantage of the coronavirus and continued to exploit the fear amongst people in a number of ways, one being the distribution malware in the facade of Covid-19 or Corona related emails.

The threat posed by the Coronavirus has been seen to be scaling beyond human health, job losses and the collapsing global economy as it also set the stage for hackers to scam people for monetary and other gains. The urgency revolving around the novel biological virus robbed tech vendors and corporate systems of their ability to effectively tackle the risks. Scammers are well aware of the overwhelmed state of cybersecurity groups that led to a dramatic rise in phishing attempts and cyberattacks. Notably, hackers are exploiting the Covid-19 charged environment in various ways such as malicious infiltration of organizations, voice phishing, WhatsApp phishing, email phishing, social media, fake apps, and websites. As per the warnings given by WHO, criminals are also acting as WHO officials in order to scam people for financial gains or sensitive data.

Problems Arising with Security Operation Centers (SOC)? 

Security Operation Center is a centralized function set up across a company's IT infrastructure. The objective of the security operation team here is to detect and then respond to cybersecurity risks in order to safeguard important assets such as business systems, employee data, and intellectual property. Upon detecting a confirm threat, the SOC immediately isolates endpoints in an attempt to terminate harmful actions such as execution or deletion. It does do while ensuring no disruption is faced by the business continuity or lessening the impact to the best of its ability.

However, as the process of strengthening an organization's security requires sophisticated infrastructure (SIEM system), coordinated efforts and continuous monitoring by people and technology-with limited staff and people made to work from home, it has become difficult to prevent, detect, analyze and respond to cybersecurity incidents.

The SOC relies upon cybersecurity tools whose operations require complete understanding and expertise making the overall workflow complex, therefore the prevention and security can not take place whilst being at home.

Adverse Impact on IT Sector

IT sector is the lifeline of almost every global economy, it plays a vital role in the functioning of nearly every other major sector including human resources, manufacturing, finance, security, and health care. It's a well-known fact how heavily IT organizations rely on manpower to function, however, due to the lockdowns, quarantine periods and stringent curbs in the movement of people, many businesses are being shut down as the global supply chains of manufacturing are being heavily disrupted. IT professionals are not able to deliver on the projects, as a result of which production dropped by a significant margin and is expected to drop even further.

The coronavirus situation worsens with the security vendors not being paid timely and as a result of halted work, gates are being left unmanned providing potential hackers with an opening. Companies are advised to stay prepared for security breaches and individuals should consider sticking to strong passwords and keeping their systems updated as the number of scams is expected to rise amid the tremendous uncertainty of the crisis.

Coronavirus will double the number of leaks of personal data of users, says security experts


The coronavirus epidemic around the world has affected not only electronics factories, but many companies are also transferring their employees to remote mode. But, according to experts, such a measure will negatively affect the entire field of data storage. Following a four-fold increase in the number of phishing mailings in Russia, analysts predict a significant increase in the number of leaks of personal user information.

According to experts of the Russian company Internet search, the danger of data being leaked to third parties often comes from the company's own employees. Employees working at home are not monitored by either colleagues or CCTV cameras, and the effectiveness of special software is often not enough to prevent leaks.

"It's scary to imagine that banks or IT giants will be unprepared for a new threat — working from home. All last year we observed how weaknesses in building the information security of the largest companies in the country led to catastrophic leaks of user data and other protected information. Now we ask employees to work from home and give them all the necessary access," said Igor Bederov, head of the company.

The expert noted that employees of various organizations at home are not protected from spam attacks and phishing, as well as from hacking their work computers. According to him, cybercriminals have already flooded the e-mail of many users with messages containing malicious codes.

Earlier, experts warned of a sharp increase in the number of leaks of personal and corporate data due to the mass transition to remote work. According to experts, the number of leaks in the near future may grow at least twice.

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic and Scams, FTC Alarms Public


Amid the coronavirus epidemic and panic among the public, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has urged the public to stay aware of the hackers that might try to attack their devices during these vulnerable times. FTC has generated a list of hacking tricks and strategies that the hackers use to attack susceptible users amid the coronavirus epidemic. Cybersecurity has become FTC's primary concern on its 2nd alert notification about various ways the hackers are using to launch cyberattacks for their profits because of the coronavirus outbreak.


According to cybersecurity experts, in one of the latest incidents, hackers are sending users fake emails claiming that they have the necessary supplies of groceries or that they have the cures for coronavirus. In another widespread episode, hackers sent users fake WHO advisory about the 'safety tips to follow to prevent yourself from COVID-19.' According to FTI's caution, if the users download information using the given links or open any websites via these phishing emails, malware gets installed in the systems. The hackers can steal critical personal information and also control the target's access. "Last month, we alerted you to Coronavirus scams we saw at the time. Earlier this month, we sent warning letters to seven sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments. So far, all of the companies have made significant changes to their advertising to remove unsupported claims. But scammers don't take a break," says FTC on its website.

But all of this is just a needle in the haystack. The hackers are also targeting victims via false claims of refund and relief organizations by asking the users donations. "Other scammers have used real information to infect computers with malware. For example, malicious websites used the real Johns Hopkins University interactive dashboard of Coronavirus infections and deaths to spread password-stealing malware," said FTC.

How to stay safe?
Follow these simple steps to prevent yourself from frauds and scams: 

  • Keep your smartphones and computers updated. 
  • Use 2 step verification for all your accounts and back up your data. 
  • Research online before making donations, don't trust frauds claiming to be any health organization. Avoid wired transactions. 
  • Avoid calls by scammers and hang up immediately. 
  • Don't forward and share unverified information, even if it comes from trusted individuals.

HACKED- Windows 10, macOS, Adobe, VMware, Apple and Oracle at The Pwn2Own 2020!


Pwn2Own is a well-known computer hacking contest which is held once every year at the CanSecWest security conference. In this contest, the contestants are tested on how well they could exploit commonly used software and mobile devices with formerly unheard of vulnerabilities.

An issue as grave as the Coronavirus pandemic has clearly not affected the spirits of the Pwn2Own 2020 hacking competition which got done with its first two days.

On Day 1, security researchers and participants bagged a handsome amount of over $180,000 for exploiting the Windows 10, Ubuntu Desktop and macOS, mention sources.

Reportedly, a “team from the Georgia Tech Systems Software and Security Lab succeeded in exploiting a kernel privilege escalation to execute code on macOS” by way of Safari. The attack mechanism that ended up winning for the team $70,000 was comprised of 6 vulnerabilities.

Per the event page (thezdi.com), Georgia Tech employed a “6 bug chain to pop calc and escalate to root”.

The team that has won several preceding editions of the hacking contest, Team Fluoroacetate, won themselves a victorious $40,000 after they employed a “local privilege escalation exploit” meant for the Windows 10.

Reports mention that one of the two members of the aforementioned team also won himself a smashing amount of $40,000 for yet another privilege escalation exploit pursuing Windows 10.

As per sources, the RedRocket CTF team got themselves a win, owing to it to one of their members, Mafred Paul, who bagged an attractive amount of $30,000 for a local privilege escalation exploit focused on Ubuntu Desktop. The hack was about the manipulation of the ‘Input validation bug’.

On Day 2, The Fluoroacetate successfully targeted the Adobe Reader with a local privilege escalation by employing a pair of UAFs, mentioned sources and grabbed an amount of $50,000.

Per reports, the Synacktiv team targeted the VMware Workstation but unfortunately to no avail in the given duration of time. There also were special demonstrations of the Zero Day Initiative against the Oracle VirtualBox.

This was the very first time the organizers allowed “conditional remote participation” in the Pwn2Own hacking contest, understandably because of the increased concerns of people about traveling due to the Coronavirus outbreak.



Is WhatsApp the new Coronavirus of Facebook?


The health officials and government authorities are trying their best to inform the public about the safety precautions amid the Coronavirus epidemic. But these health initiatives taken by the government and medical experts are constantly being threatened by one of the largest social media messaging platform. These messaging platforms are steadily spreading misinformation and fake remedies about the Coronavirus. Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has received harsh criticisms over its handling of the Coronavirus situation because of the spreading of fake news and misinformation using WhatsApp about the Coronavirus epidemic, which has caused more than 8000 death and affected more than 2,00,000 people across the globe.


WhatsApp users send messages that most of the time are inaccurate and lack any legitimacy, say the medical experts. The problem has now become so troublesome that global health organizations and world leaders have asked people to stop forwarding and sharing unverified claims about Coronavirus and its cures using WhatsApp. Irish president Leo Varadkar on twitter asked the people to avoid sharing unverified news in WhatsApp groups. According to him, the WhatsApp messages are frightening and ambiguous. People should only trust official information from health and government sectors, he says.

The misinformation shared on WhatsApp mostly comes from forwarded messages by a friend of a friend or supposedly a doctor. Not all messages are incorrect, for instance, washing your hand to stay safe. One of the most circulated false claims on WhatsApp is 'drinking warm water every 15 minutes will prevent you from Coronavirus.' Because WhatsApp messages have end-to-end encryption, health officials and the government can't trace the source of misinformation. Even WhatsApp can't trace the source of messages.

"It is clear ... that a lot of false information continues to appear in the public sphere. In particular, we need to understand better the risks related to communication on end-to-end encryption services," said Vice President Věra Jourová, Europen Commission, on Tuesday. He also surveys the alliance's work to stop misinformation. "There are over a dozen [local fact checkers] so far, and we want more to be able to do their important work so rumors are identified and countered," said Will Cathcart, the head of WhatsApp, on Wednesday in a tweet.

Beware of Stalkerware That Has Eyes On All of Your Social Media!


Dear social media mongers, amidst all the talk about the Coronavirus and keeping your body’s health in check, your digital safety needs kicking up a notch too.

Because, pretty recently, security researchers discovered, what is being called as a “Stalkerware”, which stalks your activities over various social platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Gmail, Facebook, and others.

‘MonitorMinor’, per the sources, is definitely the most formidable one in its line.

Stalkerware are “monitoring software” or ‘Spyware’ that are employed either by people with serious trust issues or officials who need to spy for legitimate reasons.

Via this extremely creepy spyware kind, gathering information like the target’s ‘Geographical location’ and Messaging and call data is a cakewalk. Geo-fencing is another spent feature of it.

This particular stalkerware is hitting the headlines this hard because, MonitorMinor has the competence to spy on ‘Communication channels’, like most of our beloved messaging applications.

The discoverers of this stalkerware issued a report in which they mentioned that in a “clean” Android system, direct communication between applications is blocked by the “Sandbox” to kill the possibilities of the likes of this spyware gaining access to any social media platform’s data. This is because of the model called “Discretionary Access Control” (DAC).

Per sources, the author of the stalkerware in question manipulates the “SuperUser-type app” (SU utility) (if present) allowing them root-access to the system.

The presence of the SU utility makes all the difference for the worse. Because owing to it and its manipulation, MonitorMinor gains root access to the system.

The applications on the radar are BOTIM, Facebook, Gmail, Hangouts, Hike News & Content, Instagram, JusTalk, Kik, LINE, Skype, Snapchat, Viber, and Zalo-Video Call.

From lock patterns to passwords, MonitorMinor has the power to dig out files that exist in the system as ‘data’. And it obviously can use them to unlock devices. This happens to be the first stalkerware to be able to do so, mention sources.

Per reports, the procedure is such that the “persistence mechanism” as a result of the malware manipulates the root access. The stalkerware then reverts the system section to read/write from the initial read-only mode, copies itself on it, deletes itself from the user section, and conveniently goes back to read-only mode again.

Reports mention that even without the root access, MonitorMinor can do a consequential amount of harm to targets. It can control events in apps by manipulating the “Accessibility Services”. A “keylogger” is also effected via the API to permit forwarding of contents.
Unfortunately, victims can’t do much to eradicate the stalkerware form their systems, yet.

Other functions of the stalkerware include:
• Access to real-time videos from the device’s camera
• Access to the system log, contact lists, internal storage contents, browsing history of on Chrome, usage stats of particular apps
• Access to sound recordings from the device’s microphone
• Control over the device’s SMS commands.

The security researchers released a report by the contents of which, it was clear that the installation rate of it was the maximum in India, closely followed by Mexico and then Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

The researchers also per reports have reasons to believe that possibly the MonitorMinor might have been developed by an Indian because they allegedly found a ‘Gmail account with an Indian name’ in the body of MonitorMinor.

Some useful Cybersecurity tips every Work-from-home Employee must know


Amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) panic, numerous corporates and organizations have told their employees to work from home as a safety concern for the employees' health. This precautionary step indeed is a good measure to take care of the employees' health while maintaining the work productivity in balance, but it also brings up concerns about the cybersecurity or the company's networks and data. It would be the 1st time for many companies to start this work-from-home initiative, which means that these organizations lack the precautionary measure to prevent their company's networks and data from potential cyberattacks from hackers. Incidents of cyberattacks have already appeared amid the coronavirus outbreak.

How to protect your system while working from home

Password Manager
Password Management Systems are a great way to keep all the online passwords encrypted. This way, your team's online accounts, and passwords are safe. This feature allows safe sharing of the password, which means that the team can securely log in to the accounts without the risk of exposing the password.

2-Step Authentication
Most of the organizations work on a cloud platform, which means the employees have collaborative access. However, using cloud also exposes your network to cybercriminals if you have weak passwords, as they can pretend to be the user and gain access to your company's network. This is why 2 step verification is crucial for cloud-based software, and therefore it should be made a standard login protocol for all the work-from-home employees.

Inform your employees about the security of devices
Safety of the employees' devices is crucial while working from home, as the devices can be stolen or lost. Therefore, it is very important to keep your devices safe as it can provide cybercriminals access to your company's network. Follow these steps to ensure device safety:

  •  Always use lock screens and passwords on your device.
  •  Don't plug your untrusted USB into your device. 
  • Keep a regular backup of your device. 
  • Always use 'find my device' option, just in case your device gets lost. 
  • Encrypt important data and files
 Don't use Unsecured and Public Wifi networks
Avoid using public wifi at all costs as it can make your device vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Stay Wary of Third-Party Apps: Malware App 'CovidLock' Locks User Out of their Phone


In an attempt to block misinformation from being spread by developers taking advantage of the COVID-19 charged environment, Google started prevention by blocking any search made for terms "COVID-19" and "coronavirus" on Google Play Store. It identified certain developers' malicious intent of exploiting user's concerns regarding the new coronavirus. As of now, Google's attempt to block searches has yielded positive results with the search for the aforementioned keywords returns no results at all on the Play Store.

Once you are out of the Play Store searching for the same, considering the installation of third-party apps, it becomes a matter of great concern as developers are embedding ransomware in apps named after the new coronavirus to delude uninformed users.

Recently, DomainTools, a Threat Intelligence company found an app known as "CovidLock" that is ransomware in the facade of 'coronavirus tracking app'. The app will appear to be a real-time tracker for the coronavirus but it will function as a malware that will lock the user out of his phone and ask for a ransom of $100 in bitcoin within a time period of 48 hours. If the affected user fails to provide the demanded ransom in the given time, he receives threats of his social media accounts being exposed online and the data stored onto his device being permanently deleted. It further notifies that his device is constantly monitored and in case he attempts to do anything stupid, everything will be automatically deleted.

However, a piece of good news is that the new mobile devices are secured against such attacks as Google has added defense against it. But in cases of users running versions older than Android Nougat, there are chances of their device being infected by this malware. To stay on a safer side, users are being advised to stick to the Google Play Store when downloading apps. Turning to unauthorized third-party sources invites great danger to user security especially at a time when our concerns and fears can be exploited and used against us. 

Hackers take advantage of Coronavirus panic, launch Cyberattacks


The whole world is in high alert with coronavirus COVID-19, as being declared a pandemic and every government is making a tremendous effort to get the virus under control and protect its citizens. The virus already has everyone in a panic with the loss of life, tumbling economy and the global shutdown but one group is seemingly using this chaos and panic to its advantage. As the virus makes headlines daily, people heed to every information they can get to beat COVID-19, and hackers are using this to their gain. Several cybersecurity firms have reported cases and attacks in various forms by hackers using COVID-19 to lure their victims into spreading malware and falling into other traps. People are staying indoors and working from home and increasingly using the internet which presents as a sweet cake for hackers.


Here is how hackers are exploiting the global panic from the virus

Phishing Mails and Malwares
FireEye a cybersecurity company, has learned about cybersecurity threats coming from China, North Korea, and Russia. Chinese hacking group attacks East Asia, the North Korean groups are targeting South Korean Non-governmental Organizations and Russian groups are attacking parts of Ukraine. These use phishing emails and spams to spread malware but they are not just limited to malware, some mails are business mails to fish out money from the receiver.

Stealing Personal Information
A Chinese group named Vicious Panda by the security firms has tricked people into sharing sensitive personal information using a document from Mongolian Health Ministry. Other hackers are using maps and dashboards for stealing personal information reports Reason Labs. The most common one is the abuse of the dashboard created by John Hopkins University. People rely on these to track the spread of the virus and know the infected number.

Fake Apps, Websites Imposters, and Misinformation 
Among other methods are - Fake Apps to track the spread of coronavirus and the infected patient, where they went, where not to go, virus hotspots. These apps are filled with malware and could be asking you to pay money. Then there are the Fake websites, where the actors imposter global organizations like the World Health Organization. Some social media campaigns and accounts are also responsible for sharing misinformation about the virus that it's a conspiracy of rival countries.

The crux is, as long as COVID-19 remains a threat, hackers will continue to take its advantage, so we need to be diligent and smart while surfing the net to avoid being scammed. A few steps like only trusting variable sources for information on the virus life

  • Use a trustable source of information on the virus. 
  • Not installing apps from unverified sources. 
  • Don't pay anything to any website or application, only trust government sources. 
  • Don't open spam emails or any attachment if it's not known.

Corona Impacts Amazon; More Than One Million Products Banned


The e-commerce giant has finally started taking steps to secure against the corona epidemic by banning more than one million products and furthermore by removing "tens of thousands" of overrated health products from unethical vendors.

A quest for "coronavirus" on Amazon raised results for face masks, disinfectant wipes and recently published books on viral infections, revealing how a few merchants are taking advantage of the health crisis. It additionally offered results for vitamin C boosters as well - a fake remedy for the virus that has been broadly disseminated on the web.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) expresses its worry about some deceptive Amazon postings prior this month, including counterfeit medications. The organization said fake coronavirus claims online were creating mass turmoil and asked tech giants to battle this spread of misinformation.

Amazon is yet to provide a rundown of those items it says it has expelled, but a BBC search for "coronavirus" on the online site proposes that numerous items are as yet being sold at strangely high prices. A portion of those items is not by any means fit for purpose, like the dispensable dust or surgical masks, as opposed to the recommended protective gear.

In one such example, a 50-piece heap of surgical masks from one seller cost more than £170, while a well-known alternative of a similar item is at a sale for around £36. Indeed, even that less expensive item has still risen drastically in price since early January, when it cost under £10.


Alluding to the act of "hiking up prices of goods" to unreasonably high levels in light of an expansion in demand, a spokesperson said, "There is no place for price gouging on Amazon," She referred to the company policy which permits Amazon to bring down items/products that "hurt customer trust", including when pricing "is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon".

And further on added that the company will keep on monitoring the site for price spikes.

Apple Becomes the First Major US Company to Say that the ‘Corona’ Epidemic Will Hit Its Finances



The iPhone maker cautions that disturbance in China from the coronavirus will result in revenues falling short of forecasts'. Underscoring the fact that production and sales were influenced, Apple says that "worldwide iPhone supply would be temporarily constrained". 

Sales of Apple products would be lower, bearing in mind that most stores in China are either closed or operating at reduced hours, the company says, "while our iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province - and while all of these facilities have reopened - they are ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated.” 

 "All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed," it added. "Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic. We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can."

Experts have assessed that the virus may contribute towards the reduction in the demand for smartphones significantly in the first quarter in China, the world's biggest market for gadgets. 
The car industry is yet another sector that has been influenced by disturbance to its supply chain. 

A week ago, the heavy equipment manufacturer JCB said it was cutting production in the UK because of a shortage of components from China. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to customers, "While we have discussed a negative iPhone impact from the coronavirus over the past few weeks, the magnitude of this impact to miss its revenue guidance midway through February is clearly worse than feared," 

New virus cases outside the 'epicenter area’ has been declining throughout the previous 13 days. There were 115 new cases outside Hubei reported on Monday, sharply down from about 450 a week back. In any case, regardless of expectations that factories and shops are slowly easing back to normal, Apple's warning, however, will underline that China's economy will be greatly influenced by the coronavirus.

China Alleges India for Cyber-attacks Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak. Demands International Cooperation.


China, who is currently battling against the deadly coronavirus epidemic said last Friday that it needs international support from countries across as it is in the midst of an 'exceptional' and 'full-on war' against the deadly virus. The statement arrived after reports of local media claimed that cybercriminals from India had attacked the Chinese hospitals during the coronavirus epidemic. "It appears that Indian hackers had attacked regional health institutes and Chinese hospitals while China was busy fighting the coronavirus epidemic," said a Chinese cybersecurity firm in a statement.


"We have proof that hackers from India attacked Chinese health institutes using 'phishing' e-mails technique," said 360 Technology, a Chinese tech company, in a conversation with a national newspaper, Global Times. In acknowledgment of the comments made, the foreign ministry of China said: "We have to come to this conclusion after considering various reports of local media." "A country which is strictly opposed to cyber hacking of any kind, China, a significant cybersecurity nation, has currently become a victim of hacking," said Hua Chunying, spokesperson, Foreign Ministry of China, last Friday, without mentioning India in the statement.

"It is in these times of misery, that we believe all the countries across the globe should come together as one to fight against this major problem of cyber attacks and hacking. It is only after this would we be able to maintain a safe, secure and helpful cyber world," said Chunying via an e-press conference. She further says: "It is a matter of great concern for China as we are currently amid a crisis of battling a deadly epidemic. Witnessing the current public health emergency, the nations should cooperate to battle this issue."

"Indian hackers have been launching APTs (Advanced Persistent Threat) and attacking Chinese health institutes by sending phishing e-mail schemes," said the company to Global Times. "A suspected group of hackers from India named 'Bitter' have launched APT cyberattacks since March 2019, targeting the Chinese health institutes and research centers, and also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," said an opinion column from Global Times.