Remember, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.
Cybercriminals are always looking out for ways to capitalize on anything that can generate instant clicks or trick users into downloading malicious malware. It could be trending news or natural disasters. This time around, crooks have chosen none other than the entertainment industry’s biggest and most anticipated event- the Oscars.
Reportedly, cybercriminals are using Oscar movie nominations as bait to lure users into downloading malware.
According to a press release by Kaspersky Labs security researchers, there are hundreds of phishing and malware-infected websites ready to distribute malicious software. The malware is hidden in files claiming to be “free downloads” of movies nominated for Oscar’s best picture award for the year 2020.
As it always happens with phishing scams, unsuspecting users are tricked into providing personal and sensitive information including credit card details to download a free version of Oscar-nominated movies such as Joker.
The event is due to be held on February 9, 2020, and this seems to be a perfect time and opportunity for scammers to make money from the hype generated for Oscar-nominated movies.
Kaspersky identified that Joker is the most widely used movie for tricking users into handing out financial details and downloading malware.
As per Anton Ivanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky, scammers don’t really care about the dates on which a movie premiers because they aren’t distributing actual movie but malicious software using the movie name as bait.
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“They always prey on something when it becomes a hot trend, they depend on users’ demand and actual file availability” explained Ivanov.
To stay protected you must never download any file from illegitimate or unknown streaming platforms and only use the legal streaming website to eliminate the risk of infecting your device or revealing bank details. In this regard, you can rely on services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.
Furthermore, always research a bit about the website you are going to select a movie or video from before hitting that download button. Last but not the least, do remember that if something seems too good to be true, it actually isn’t worth your time or effort.