Cybercriminals exploit Spiderman: No Way Home popularity to spread malware, push phishing scams: Report

BL Mumbai Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 20, 2021
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In most cases analysed by Kaspersky researchers, they discovered Downloaders able to install other unwanted programs

Cybercriminals are leveraging the buzz around the film Spider-Man : No Way Home to trick viewers into installing malware and push phishing scams, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

The film released in India on December 16 has become a major success across the globe.

"With the excitement surrounding the release of the newest Spider-Man film, the inattention of thrilled viewers is being abused by cybercriminals. The premiere of ‘No Way Home’ is no exception but an attractive lure to spread threats and phishing pages," Kaspersky said.

Kaspersky researchers observed intensified activity from fraudsters ahead of the film’s premiere. They also found multiple examples of phishing websites that were set up to steal viewers’ bank details.

"To watch the new superhero film ahead of the premiere, people were asked to register and enter their credit card information. After that, money was debited from their card and payment data gleaned by cybercriminals, but no early viewing of the film was available," it explained.

To further boost user interest in the phishing pages, fraudsters used fan art featuring all the Spider-Man actors instead of the official film posters.

"With such posters, cybercriminals want to attract more attention from fans," it said.

Further, a lot of users attempted to not only watch the long-awaited premiere of ‘No Way Home’ online but also to download it.

"Needless to say, under the disguise of the new movie are hidden malicious files," it said.

In most cases analysed by Kaspersky researchers, they discovered Downloaders able to install other unwanted programs. They also discovered some other Adware and even Trojans. Trojans are malicious programs that can enable cybercriminals to perform actions that are not authorised by the user, such as gathering information, modifying data or disrupting the performance of computers.

“Fans’ expectations are through the roof right now, arguably higher than for any film. Everyone who has ever been a fan of Spidey has their own theories about the films, which can be exploited by cybercriminals, " said Tatyana Shcherbakova, security expert at Kaspersky.

"Fraudsters are using fan arts and trailer cuttings as bait to make victims download malicious files and enter banking details. We encourage users to be alert to the pages they visit and not download files from unverified sites,” added Shcherbakova.

Published on December 20, 2021

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