The government of Argentina has said its blockchain has been hacked to spread fake news on coronavirus. Meanwhile, the WHO is collaborating with Facebook and others to develop a vaccine against misinformation.
March 17, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – As people increasingly social distance themselves to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, social media is an appealing way to stay in contact with friends, family, and colleagues. But it can also be a source of misinformation and bad advice – some of it even dangerously wrong.
Hackers amplify fake coronavirus news using Argentinian Government’s blockchain
On March 14, Argentina‘s government confirmed that its Official Gazette (Boletin Official), which is blockchain-based technology, had been hacked. The attackers also used the website to spread fake news about the coronavirus which is now a pandemic.
As per the local newspaper El Cronista, the hackers exploited a vulnerability in the system that allowed them to spread fake coronavirus news through edition 34,239 of the gazette. The attackers have also spread false guidelines that have allegedly been adopted by state employees.
Due to the attack and subsequent high traffic, the bulletin went offline for several hours. All publications made in the gazette since 2016 are legally valid. The blockchain system used for the Boletín Oficial is part of the “Blockchain Federal Argentina” project. This is a distributed accounting technology used by state agencies and private entities.
WHO collaborates with tech giants to limit misinformation on COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak has sparked what the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling an “infodemic”. This refers to an overwhelming amount of information on websites and social media.
Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there. While some are accurate, others are downright untrue. The false statements range from a conspiracy theory that the virus is a man-made bioweapon to the claim that more than 100,000 have died from the disease.
As a result, the WHO is collaborating with tech giants like Google, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok to limit the spread of harmful rumors. It’s pursuing a similar tactic with Chinese digital companies such as Baidu, Tencent and Weibo.
“We are asking them to filter out false information and promote accurate information from credible sources like WHO, CDC [the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and others. And we thank them for their efforts so far,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO
While thee Social media sites have taken steps to limit misinformation, it’s nearly impossible to catch them all.
Have you read any fake news on coronavirus? Let us know in the comment section below.