92nd Academy Award contenders being used by cybercriminals to attack thousands. How to avoid getting infected.

Don’t get tricked by the Joker as Oscar-inspired malware attack spreads.  Security firm Kaspersky has detected a growing attack that starts with bad actors from the cyber underworld disguising malicious files by using nominated movie names.

How the Oscar Movie Malware Scam works

The email or text phishing attack sends you a legit-looking message that claims to allow a screening of an Oscar nominated film from the 92nd Academy Awards.  By clicking the link or downloading the movie title, a malicious file infects your device with malware.

The most threatening Oscar nominated movies being used by cybercriminals look like a prediction of Hollywood winners. Here are the number of malicious files found with each of the following films.

Malware files found associated with movie names

304    Joker
215    1917
179    The Irishman
150    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

How to Avoid Oscar-inspired Malware Attack

  • Only download or play movies from reliable streaming services
  • Navigate to legit streaming services on your own instead of clicking an email or text link – even if it looks authentic
  • Never click on a suspicious link from an unfamiliar website
  • Use malware protection software to help filter and isolate malware threats