A Star Wars scam became a bait to spread malware. Thus, cybercriminals lure users into downloading malware. In exchange, the bad guys promise exclusive footage, content or full movie before its release. This happens now, when the new movie “The Rise of Skywalker” is releasing.
In order to hit their target, cybercriminals have flooded the internet with infected, fake websites and files. These pretend to offer free streams and early preview of the movie. So, many Star Wars fans are crazy to download the promised content, which is, of course, not available. Instead, the websites are full of malware which can easily infect devices. Therefore, whenever a user comes across streaming websites or social media profiles that promise free pirated copies of the movie, they should never take these for granted.
30 “official” pages
By now, Kaspersky Lab identified more than 30 fake and infected streaming sites and social media pages. They are all advertised as the official pages of the movie. Moreover, researchers found around 65 malicious files. All of them were pretend to be copies of the movie.
“Coupled with malicious files shared on torrents, this brings the criminals results,” the Kaspersky Lab officially announced. So far, 65 malicious files disguised as copies of the upcoming movie affected 83 users.
The use of the official name of a movie in the domains of websites with the intention of infecting devices and collecting private data is a technique called Black SEO. It enables attackers to advertise phishing websites by getting them to rank higher on popular search engines. Thus, they appear in the search results whenever the name of the movie is searched.
The Star Wars scam is active at the moment. It manages to compel more users to download the pirated version through torrents. Kaspersky Lab researchers also discovered that phishing websites disguised as streaming services, promising bootlegged copies of the movie.
How to avoid the malware
Once the malware is downloaded, it starts collecting private and financial data such as credit card information. This is a well known tactic used by cybercriminals to infect computers and obtain sensitive data. Any user should beware of torrent sites and streaming platforms to prevent infection. In fact, there are a few best practices to follow. First of all, never access unknown websites or click on any suspicious links. Also, keep your security software up to date and never download anything from unofficial sources. You will certainly have the chance to watch your favourite movie in the cinema.