Beware “Black Widow Premier is a Cover for Malware & Fraud” – Says Kaspersky

  • Last updated June 11, 2024
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The long-awaited Marvel action-packed thriller Black Widow is finally released on July 9th in theatres and Disney+. Kaspersky warned that cybercriminals are using this one of the most anticipated Marvel releases as a way to steal viewers’ credit card information and other scams.

The superhero movie is the first Marvel movie to hit the cinemas since Spider-Man: Far From Home back in July 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the initial release planned for May 2020. After the pandemic, the release was repeatedly postponed to November 6th, 2020, then May 2021, and eventually, the final release date was set at July 9th, 2021.

Kaspersky noted a sharp increase in phishing attempts and malicious downloads, which was consistent with the release schedule of Black Widow – i.e., June, July 2020, March, and April 2021. These spikes had been replaced with a new trend as the final planned release date (July 9th) was announced.

Anton V. Ivanov, the Kaspersky security expert, said,

“We have observed intensified scamming activities around ‘Black Widow,’ the release of which fans all over the world have been eagerly anticipating for a long time. In their excitement to watch the long-awaited movie, viewers have become inattentive to the sources they use, and this is exactly what fraudsters benefit from. These attacks are preventable, and users should be alert to the sites they visit.”

Scam Tactics around Black Widow – Beware

Ivanov also explained further that cybercriminals use a common tactic to lure targets by giving the viewers free access to a few minutes of the movie stream, and after hooking them, ask the user to register to view the rest of the movie. It’s no surprise that to view the full movie you need to give your personal information, including name, address, and most importantly, credit card details.

black-widow-scam-2021

Image: Kaspersky

However, in most cases, the movie does not play even after the viewer has subscribed and paid for the movie. Besides phishing, another common tactic used by cybercriminals is that they are offering executable files as download files of the movie. An executable file is used to perform different functions on a computer. It is a favorite tool of hackers to download malware onto your system.

Kaspersky warned users not to download files with extensions like .EXE or .MSI. Additionally, take note that movies and videos have extensions like .MOV, .MP4, .M4P, or .AVI. These are some of the most common file extensions.

Kaspersky has also requested users to pay attention to the URL of the website they are using to download the movie or watch it online. By checking the URL, you can identify if the site you are trying to visit is using a fake domain name.

Advice for Viewers to Stay Safe

The current ongoing pandemic has seen a surge in phishing scams. The latest Marvel thriller has served as an opportunity for cybercriminals to target much-anticipated fans who are hoping to get an early view with less-than-legal ways.

Sites promising early release of the most awaited movies are no doubt tempting, but it’s a good idea to steer clear from them possible. Because these hosting websites are not trustworthy at all. There is a lot going on behind the scenes. Chances are they might be infecting your computer or stealing your personal information.

Watch Black Widow on Disney+ From Anywhere In The World

As discussed above, Black Widow is released on Disney+ and cinemas. If you are residing in a place where Disney+ is not available, you can also use a VPN to unblock Disney+ and stream Black Widow safely, without having to worry about scammers.

With a virtual private network, you can easily change your IP address to any location, like the US, and access blocked streaming sites like Disney+ to stream Black Widows.

This way, you can stream all the latest upcoming Marvel releases like Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings (September 3th), The Eternals (November 5th), Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17th), and more.

Quick Tips to Outsmart Hackers

Now, you know how you can securely watch Black Widow and all the latest upcoming Marvel releases without having to worry about your online security. In today’s world, it is becoming more and more complex to identify good, trustworthy content from a malicious one.

Nonetheless, there are ways to outsmart cybercriminals and stay protected on the web. Here are top cybersecurity tips for streamers to enjoy safe entertainment online:

  1. Double-check the URLs of the sites offering “FREE” movies and look for typos.
  2. Beware of the files you download onto your PC.
  3. Always use trustworthy streaming platforms for watching movies like Disney+, HBO, Netflix, and more.
  4. Use one of the best VPN services to encrypt your online traffic and make it untraceable online, thus protecting it against hackers.
  5. Download anti-malware software on your device for neutralizing unwanted threats.

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