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‘Click here to see Joker for free’, that’s how users recently have been tempted to click on a link. They are then directed to a website where they have to fill in a lot of personal information before they can download a strange file. After that, they don’t get the movie, but they do get a whole bunch of malware. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky, in the run-up to the presentation of the Oscars, shares results of a study that shows the popularity of new movies and series as a phishing lure.

The research was carried out by Kaspersky to get a better picture of how cyber criminals respond to the interests of a broad audience when making victims. By pretending that users can download a new and much talked about film for free, hackers know how to respond to the hype through phishing sites and malware in files. Kaspersky found twenty sites where users are asked to enter personal data, while the number of files containing malware went up to a thousand.

Oscar-nominated films

By using accounts on Twitter to promote rogue websites, users are enticed to take a look anyway. The website then requires a number of details before an account can be created, but the promised movie is never shown.

According to Kaspersky, Joker, 1917, and The Irishman were the most popular films that lured people to download malware, with a peak in available malware a few weeks after its official release in cinemas.