'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Scam Deploys Crypto Mining Malware: Warning Signs, How to Avoid

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Scam Deploys Crypto Mining Malware: Warning Signs, How to Avoid
Cybercriminals are now taking advantage of the popularity of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to launch crypto malware attacks. Fans downloading a pirated copy of the movie from the internet are advised to be careful. Photo : Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Cybercriminals are now taking advantage of the popularity of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" to launch crypto malware attacks. Fans downloading a pirated copy of the movie from the internet are advised to be careful.

To maximize their number of potential victims, cybercriminals are hiding their scam schemes on trending topics and events. Most recently, they uploaded a Monero miner code on a torrent download file for the movie "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Scam: Crypto Miner Malware

Experts from ReasonLabs reported the details of this malware attack on December 23. They said the torrent file for the movie download is named "spiderman_net_putidomoi.torrent.exe" in Russian, which translates to "spiderman_no_wayhome.torrent.exe" in English. The file name led experts to believe that the malware first came out from a Russian torrenting website.

Once downloaded, the crypto malware exploits the computer's power to mine Monero, a privacy coin that operates with fully untraceable transactions. Although this type of attack is not completely severe, it will harm the victim's electricity bill because of its massive energy consumption.

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'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Malware: Other Features

Be warned that the "Spider-Man: No Way Home" malware has a lot of annoying features. In a quick summary, it is hard to detect and remove from an infected device.

According to researchers, the malware is designed to elude examination. Its processes are written with "legitimate" names to fool security systems like Windows Defender and Virus total. ReasonLabs gave an example of the malware's details:

  • FilePublisher: Google Inc.
  • FileOriginalFileName: 123.exe
  • FileDisplayName: Google Chrom
  • FileDescription: chrome.exe

Admittedly, the forged details make it seem like a legitimate web application. This implies that victims need to have programming experience to decrypt and decode the dangerous malware.

On top of this, the malware miner spawns a watchdog to maintain its activity. This makes it hard for the device system to shut the program down.

How to Stay Safe Against 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Scam

According to Bitcoinist, the crypto malware is compressed and hidden on the fake "Spider-Man: No Way Home" movie file. After being downloaded, the malware decompresses its files on runtime into the svchost.exe function. Afterward, the mining process is maintained active via a file labeled "oocetcmsrfsmni." Users are advised to watch out for these code names.

To stay safe from crypto malware, Spider-Man fans are advised to take extra caution when downloading content from the internet. They are highly discouraged from downloading a file in Torrent and other non-official sources.

Another key indicator for the malware is the file type. A real movie file should end with ".mp4" while a crypto malware file ends with ".exe." If possible, read the file extension folder before downloading it. Watch out for the keywords indicated above.

Lastly, be careful when downloading anything on the internet, especially from suspicious sources. Although this recent attack exploited the "Spider-Man: No Way Home" movie, malicious actors can utilize the same strategy to infect a suspicious email, cracked program or other multimedia file being downloaded.

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