Downloading pirated copies of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ from torrent sites come with an unwanted cryptocurrency mining malware, warned researchers at Reason Cybersecurity.
According to the researchers, the illicit copies of the latest Spider-Man movie includes a variant of malware dubbed ‘Spiderman,’ that had previously been disguised as popular apps such as ‘Windows updater’ and ‘Discord app.’
Although this malware does not compromise personal information (which is what most users are afraid of when thinking about a virus on their computer), the damage that a miner causes can be seen in the user’s electricity bill. This is real money that they have to pay, given that the miner runs for long periods. The damage can be felt on a user’s device as often miners require high CPU usage, which causes the computer to slow down drastically. These malicious cryptominers often come through web browser downloads or rogue mobile apps.
It should be noted that the malware crypto miner is capable of adding exclusions to Windows Defender. This means that Windows Defender might not detect the malware at all.
Additionally, it adds a ‘watchdog process’ for persistence—meaning that the malware would kill any process that has the name of its components to make sure only one instance is running at a given moment.
“We recommend taking extra caution when downloading content of any kind from non-official sources – whether it’s a document in an email from an unknown sender, a cracked program from a fishy download portal, or a file from a torrent download,” the researchers advised in a blog post.
One easy precaution you can take is to always check that the file extension matches the file you are expecting e.g. in this case, a movie file should end with ‘.mp4’, not ‘.exe.’
“Try to gather information about the file, and always think twice before double-clicking on it. To make sure you see the real file extension, open a folder, go to ‘View’ and check ‘File name extensions’. This will make sure you see the full file type,” the researchers added.
Spider-Man: No Way Home, stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in pivotal parts, has not only succeeded commercially, but has even managed to win over film critics. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures India recently shared on social media that the film has already been watched by over one crore Indians. Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently playing in theatres.