The cyber security experts at ReasonLabs have recently detected that hackers are using the ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ movie to deliver Monero crytominer through which they mine Monero crytocurrency (XMR). So, the fans of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ beware of torrenting the movie.
During the analysis, they discovered several Monero miners on Russian torrent trackers of this new film. The film has already set a new box office record and became the first tape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ movie has managed to make more than $800 million in theaters around the world. And that’s why to take advantage of its fame, the hackers selected this medium to accomplish their malicious goals.
Here, for distributing the malware or miner the hackers have used the torrents as a distribution mechanism.
The malware found in the spiderman_net_putidomoi.torrent.exe file is unsigned, which is written in .net, and currently not in Virus Total.
Not only that, even the mining malware tries to avoid being seen by researchers by using legitimate names for its files and processes like it claim to be owned by Google and creates files with names such as sihost64.exe, insinuating them into svchost.exe.
The malware also adds itself to Windows Defender exceptions and maintains a constant presence in the system, to keep itself active it spawns a special process.
Here’s what the security analysts explained:-
“The Spiderman malware is actually a new ‘revision’ of the previously known malware, which in the past has masqueraded as various popular applications, including Windows Updater and Discord. Now it has turned its table to the movie Spiderman.”
At this stage two PowerShell encoded commands get started by the program, and then to Microsoft Defender, it adds the following extended exclusions:-
- Ignore all folders under the user profile
- The system drive (i.e. “c:\\”)
- All files with extensions of “.exe” or “.dll”
Here’s what the experts stated:-
“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.”
Moreover, the cybersecurity analysts at ReasonLabs are still seeking to hunt down the origins of the miner since nowadays as common exploring programs the threat actors are constantly and widely using or deploying miners.
However, they have strongly recommended users to take extra care while downloading any file from non-official sources, avoid downloading any cracked tools or software, and also avoid downloading any files from a torrent download that was sent by an unknown sender.