May the 4th be with you: Kaspersky reveals malware activities behind Star Wars
Films are one of the main forms of entertainment users seek to access for free, which creates fertile soil for cyberattacks. Online streaming, torrents and other methods of digital distribution often infringe upon content copyright, and yet they still remain popular as a source of free content.
Torrent-trackers and illegal streaming platforms pose a threat to users’ cyber-safety as they can host malicious files, masked behind the name of movie recordings and files. Given this tendency, Kaspersky studied how the world-famous sci-fi film series Star Wars is being used by cybercriminals.
Researchers found that “The Mandalorian” was the most popular bait among cybercriminals, with 296 malicious users in total. This was closely followed by “The Force Awakens”, with 117 unique users in total. In addition, Kaspersky researchers discovered 408 files targeted with malware associated with Star Wars films and TV shows. “The Mandalorian” received the highest number for most targeted file, with 267 subjected to malware in total. “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Attack of the Clones” were safer in comparison to the others listed.
To avoid falling victim to malicious programs pretending to be popular films or TV shows, Kaspersky recommends taking the following steps:
- Check the authenticity of websites before entering personal data and use only official webpages to watch films, series’ and shows. Double-check URL formats and company name spellings.
- Look at the downloaded file extension. Even if you are going to download a video file from a source you consider trusted and legitimate, the file should have an .avi, .mkv or .mp4 extension among other video formats, definitely not .exe
- Check the website’s authenticity. Do not visit websites allowing you to watch a movie until you are sure that they are legitimate and start with ‘https’. Confirm that the website is genuine, by double-checking the format of the URL or the spelling of the company name, reading reviews about it and checking the domains’ registration data before starting downloads.
- Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialised security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.