Want to live long and prosper? Avoid pirated, malware-laden Star Wars free vid streams – and pay to watch instead

Poisoned movie feeds will do more damage than an angry Dalek

Movie fans eager for an early peek at the new Star Wars installment are putting themselves at risk of malware infection.

This according to the crew from Kaspersky Lab, who warn that criminals are disguising malware as free streams of The Rise of Skywalker in hopes of scoring a few easy infections on unsuspecting users.

The tactics themselves are nothing new. Malware operators have long used popular movie and film franchises as a way to convince users to open the trojans and exploit files that download malware. Such is the case here, where torrent and file-sharing sites are offering malware that presents itself as a copy of the new film.

In this case, however, the attacks are proving particularly effective - possibly due to the hype around the film. Despite criminals targeting 25 per cent fewer users and offering up 30 per cent fewer unique files than last year, Kaspersky says its detected malware attacks have risen 10 per cent, an indication that hackers are having more success.

Engineer aboard Das Boot U-96 responds to telegraphs

Das Reboot: Uni forces 38,000 students, staff to queue, show their papers for password reset following 'cyber attack'


What's more, the team also found that phishing sites are also taking advantage of the movie hype by pretending to be streaming services that show bootlegged copies of the film.

"Kaspersky researchers found over 30 fraudulent websites and social media profiles disguised as official movie accounts (the actual number of these sites may be much higher) that supposedly distribute free copies of the latest film in the franchise," the security shop said of its findings. "These websites collect unwary users’ credit card data, under the pretense of necessary registration on the portal."

Fortunately, avoiding these attacks is easy enough if users follow some basic best practices. Avoiding unknown sites and suspicious links, maintaining up-to-date security software and system patches, and not downloading any untrusted or suspicious files should be enough to avoid these attacks.

Or, you could always just buy a ticket to watch the movie in a theater...

Given the number of people who will be on holiday, travelling, and meeting with family this time of year, however, there will be plenty of unwary victims for the attackers. For this reason it is also worth keeping an eye on the devices of less-savvy friends and family and making sure they know to avoid shady streaming sites. ®

Keep Reading

Tech Resources

What WAF is right for you

Applications are architected in many ways, but all need protection from threats. Learn the most important things to consider when choosing a WAF.

Webcast Slide Deck | How backup modernization changes the ransomware game

If the thrill of backing up your data and wondering if you will ever see it again has worn off, start the new year by getting rid of the lingering pain of legacy backup. Bipul Sinha, CEO of the Cloud Data Management Company, Rubrik, and Miguel Zatarain, Director of Global Infrastructure Technology at PACCAR, Fortune 500 manufacturer of trucks and Rubrik customer, are talking to the Reg’s Tim Phillips about how to eliminate the costly, slow and spotty performance of legacy backup, and how to modernize your implementation in 2021 to make your business more resilient.

Webcast Slide Deck | Three reasons you need a hybrid multicloud

Businesses need their IT teams to operate applications and data in a hybrid environment spanning on-premises private and public clouds. But this poses many challenges, such as managing complex networking, re-architecting applications for the cloud, and managing multiple infrastructure silos. There is a pressing need for a single platform that addresses these challenges - a hybrid multicloud built for the digital innovation era. Just this Regcast to find out: Why hybrid multicloud is the ideal path to accelerate cloud migration.

Anatomy of a Private Cloud

Learn the key elements that combined, build a true Private Cloud

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021