Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is just being released into theaters today but cybercriminals were already assembling fake websites and social media profiles to deliver malware to fans, instead of something useful like the Death Star’s plans.
Kaspersky researchers have found 30 fraudulent websites and social media profiles disguised as official movie accounts advertising free copies of the film, but in fact collect credit card data under the pretense of registering for the ability to download or view the movie.
“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 remain popular as a source of free content. Torrent-trackers and illegal streaming platforms pose a threat to users’ cyber-safety, since they can host malicious files, masked behind the name of movie files,” Kaspersky said.
Researchers noted the scammers go to a great deal of effort to fool fans. This includes grabbing and placing onto the fake site everything from the name of the film, providing a detailed description and supporting content.
But these are just the basics.
In addition to the scam site, the lie is fleshed out with fake Twitter and other social media accounts which are used to spread the malicious links. These are also distributed on torrents.
“So far, 83 users have already been affected by 65 malicious files disguised as copies of the upcoming movie,” the report said.