People all around the world are watching a lot of movies off lately due to the lockdown enforced to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. Use of streaming services has gone up and people are also downloading a lot of movies while they are stuck inside their homes. Now, Microsoft has issued a warning asking people to be wary of the sites where they download movies from.
The company in a series of tweets on its Security Intelligence page has said that hackers are using pirate streaming services and torrent downloads to hack into users’ systems.
“With lockdown still in place in many parts of the world, attackers are paying attention to the increase in use of pirate streaming services and torrent downloads. We saw an active coin miner campaign that inserts a malicious VBScript into ZIP files posing as movie downloads,” wrote in a tweet.
With lockdown still in place in many parts of the world, attackers are paying attention to the increase in use of pirate streaming services and torrent downloads. We saw an active coin miner campaign that inserts a malicious VBScript into ZIP files posing as movie downloads.
— Microsoft Security Intelligence (@MsftSecIntel) April 28, 2020
The company said that the hackers hide a malicious file called VBScript into the ZIP files that accompany these movies. When a user opens a ZIP file downloaded from the piracy site, they trigger the VBScript, which then uses BITSAdmin, which is an authentic Microsoft protocol, to download other components pertaining to the hack.
“The in-memory DLL then injects a coin-mining code into notepad.exe through process hollowing,” Microsoft wrote in another tweet.
“The mining would go on forever…This isn’t as in your face as ransomware would be. You wouldn’t even notice it unless you somehow checked why your computer started running slower,” Tanmay Ganacharya, director of security research of Microsoft Threat Protection said in an interview with CyberScoop.
For now, hackers seem to be targeting Spain and Spanish-speaking countries such as Chile and Mexico. However, it won’t be surprising if they expand the attack to other regions of the world. So, it is advisable to remain cautious while downloading movies from pirate sites.