Cyber-Criminals Use Famous DJs to Spread Malicious Files

Beware music lovers! You may be getting much more than you bargained for when heading online to chill out to your favorite tunes to help get through the COVID-19 lockdown. New research from Kaspersky has revealed that cyber-criminals are using the tracks of some of the world’s top DJs to hide malicious files containing a range of threats. This is the latest in a number of new techniques being used by cyber-criminals to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis.

With major music events forced to cancel as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures, including Coachella, Ultra, SXSW, Glastonbury and Time Warp, many artists have been using innovative methods to ensure fans get to experience live shows. This includes streaming songs online through platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube and Twitch. For instance, the Ultra music festival was turned into a virtual event recently, providing fans with a weekend of live music broadcasts from the homes of some of the world’s top DJs.

For people eager to download the tracks they’ve heard from these events, a cautious approach is recommended, with cyber-criminals quickly cottoning on to any change in people’s online behaviors. Kaspersky has now outlined the extent to which malicious files are being spread via downloads. These files include adware and malicious Trojans, which have the potential to destroy, block, modify, or copy data, or to disrupt the performance of computers or networks.

The artist names found to be most commonly used for these nefarious purposes are David Guetta, Alan Walker, Dj Snake, Calvin Harris and Martin Garrix.

Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky security analyst, said: “People have started to spend more time at home, and therefore consume more content. While listening to streaming or online services does not harm electronic music fans, they should be cautious if they want to download their favorite songs to their devices. As our research shows, malware can often be hidden behind such files, so people need to take additional measures to safeguard themselves from possible threats.”

Digital music fans should therefore take heed of Kaspersky’s advice before going on a download spree. The advice includes:

  • Double check artists’ latest releases and pay attention to the names of tracks and mixes. If the name of the file seems suspicious to you, or you have never heard the song, do not download it
  • Only download music from trusted sources for offline listening, such as Spotify or Audiomack
  • Use a reliable security solution for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats

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