Spider-Man: No Way Home Pirates Treated With Bonus Crypto Mining Malware

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Nobody wants to rack up bad karma, which should be reason alone not to pilfer movies from the internet via BitTorrent or whatever other means. But even disregarding the moral aspect or pirating movies and games, there's another reason not to engage in such behavior—you could end up with a malware infection. Some pirates of the new Spider-Man: No Way Home movie are finding that out the hard way.

The latest Marvel movie just became the first flick since 2019 to generate a whopping $1 billion at the box office. It notched the second-largest opening weekend ever in North America where it generated $260 million, beating out Avengers: Infinity War, which tallied $257 million during its opening weekend in 2018. Suffice to say, Spider-Man: No Way Home ranks as the most popular movie of the pandemic, and one of the most popular flicks of all time.

Hence why cyber-thieves have the movie in their sights. According to Reason Lab, the threat research arm of Reason Cybersecurity, an unscrupulous individual has attached a Monero miner to a torrent download purporting be Spider-Man: No Way Home in hopes of ensnaring computing resources from unscrupulous pirates.

"This miner adds exclusions to Windows Defender, creates persistence, and spawns a watchdog process to maintain its activity," Reason Lab explains.

Monero Miner Process Tree

The cybersecurity firm also says the miner is not yet detected by Virus Total, and notes the malware avoids exposing itself by using seemingly legitimate names for the files and processes it generates after infecting a system. For example, one of the companies it spoofs is Google.

Reason Labs gets into some of the nuts and bolts of how the malware works, but the general takeaway is that it ends up robbing system resources, which can also result in a higher electricity bill.

"This is real money that they have to pay, given that the miner runs for long periods. Additionally, the damage can be felt on a user’s device as often miners require high CPU usage, which causes the computer to slow down drastically," Reason Lab says.

So there you, another reason not to pirate movies (or games or any content).

Thumbnail/Top Image Source: Sony Pictures