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Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Pirated Downloads Contain Crypto-Mining Malware

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It’s easy to think that crypto-mining malware is only associated with games. However, with the popular release of the movie Spider-man No Way Home, pirates learned the hard way that it isn’t always so. 

Pirating won’t go away soon. However, sometimes people can’t wait to play a popular game or watch a certain movie. Unfortunately, pirated files aren’t always safe. The pirated movie Spider-Man No Way Home came with a .exe file that infected thousands of people’s PCs. 

Spider-Man No Way Home is among the current most popular movies, grossing over 1$ billion at the box office. However, the movie is currently only theater-exclusive due to COVID-19. And this leads many people to pirate it instead. 

ReasonLabs Discovered the Spider-Man Crypto Mining Malware 

ReasonLabs unveiled the hidden malware used to mine the Monero cryptocurrency in a file attached to the pirated movie, named “spiderman_net_putidomoi.torrent.exe.” It translates to spiderman_no_wayhome.torrent.exe,” from Russian. 

This led many to believe that the crypto mining malware originates from a Russian torrenting website. The company believes the malware derives from the SilentXMRMiner open source project, which anyone from GitHub can access. 

The platform enables wannabe malware distributors to create their own crypto-malware in various cryptocurrencies. Thus, it can lead to some creating unpredictable malware. 

Antiviruses Can’t detect the Crypto Mining Malware 

According to ReasonLabs, this new crypto-mining malware “adds exclusions to Windows Defender, creates persistence, and spawns a watchdog process to maintain its activity.”

In other words, even antiviruses can’t detect this crypto-mining malware. However, the good news is that this virus doesn’t appear to compromise personal information. The miner will simply use the victim’s computing power to mine Monero cryptocurrency. 

Crypto mining malware often can be felt when you check your CPU usage. If it is abnormally high, then it’s most likely you were infected. Due to the high CPU usage, your PC will be much slower than usual. 

Apart from this, victims of the Spider-Man No Way Home crypto-mining malware will pay higher electricity bills as the malware does its thing. ReasonLabs submitted the malware to VirusTotal to see which antiviruses could detect it. 

Unfortunately, over 70 different security tools failed to detect/flag the malware as malicious. However, what can you do if traditional security tools don’t help one against this new crypto-mining malware? 

Best Security Tips Against Crypto-Mining Malware 

If you suspect your PC to suffer from a crypto-mining malware infection, the best sign is high CPU usage for no reason. However, abnormal CPU usage can also be influenced by how often you clean your PC or reinstall your OS. 

In any case, you don’t want to get infected with crypto-mining malware, as it can cause many problems for your PC. Here are some of the best security tips against crypto-mining malware. 

Avoid Downloading Pirated Files 

The best way to stay clear from crypto-mining malware is to avoid downloading suspicious files, especially pirated files. Such as in the case of a simple movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, even mundane files can have hidden crypto-mining malware in them. 

Enable Your Security Software 

Sometimes, even turning on your web protection can do miracles. However, enabling AV Live Protection and Behaviour Monitoring can help you discover crypto-miners. If you can restrict the writing permissions on file servers, then do it!

This will ensure that the malware won’t use certain permissions to hack your PC further. Any suspicious popups or files that can’t be opened are also a cause to worry. You should immediately contact the IT department and work for a corporation if you encounter this. 

Consider Using a VPN 

One of the best ways to avoid viruses, malware, and ransomware is to become anonymous on the web. You can do this by using a VPN service. A VPN will essentially encrypt your data and make you invisible around the web. 

It can also help you avoid pirating movies or other software. This is because you can use a VPN to switch your geo-location and access restricted content in your country from another place. To enjoy such features, make sure you use the fastest VPN you can find on the market.

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