Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy is wrapping up with the new film release, but trying to snag an early copy online might be even more risky than usual. Kaspersky Lab reports that The Rise of Skywalker has become the hottest new way to push malware on unsuspecting internet users. That download that looks too good to be true probably is.
The Rise of Skywalker is the culmination of Disney’s revamping of the Star Wars franchise. The first two films in the trilogy have been smash hits at the box office, despite many fans feeling disappointed with Disney’s approach to the universe. Still, Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon, and people want to experience it. Sometimes, they want so badly to see the movie that they’ll download files from sketchy corners of the internet.
Kaspersky says it has cataloged 285,103 Star Wars-themed malware attacks in the last year. That’s 10 percent higher than last year, but there were 30 percent fewer unique files contained in malware. Malware makers might be getting lazier, but they’re not giving up.
With interest in The Rise of Skywalker peaking, Kaspersky has seen a new wave of attacks purporting to offer downloads of the film. So far, it has identified 65 malware campaigns leveraging the release of the movie. The firm found more than 30 websites and social media counts pushing fake downloads of the movie that were really just malware. This wave of fake downloads hasn’t yet bitten too many internet users, but it’s probably just a matter of time.
It’s nice to have confirmation that downloading a just-released Star Wars movie is risky, but it’s not exactly a surprise. Malware often takes advantage of cultural events like this to infect people. When Game of Thrones was at the height of its popularity, it was consistently among the most pirated pieces of media online. And of course, some of those downloads implanted malware on target machines.
So, if you’ve got a hankering for Star Wars, you should probably go to the theater to see the new movie. Alternatively, just wait for it to come to Disney+ after its theatrical run.
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