Malicious code sits in subtitle files.

If you download movies illegally, it’s pretty hard to feel sorry for you when malware sneaks in along with that bootleg movie. Some would say you kind of get what you deserve there. But a new finding has discovered that malware is infecting movies in popular legal streaming sites as well, hiding in a very sneaky place.

If everything is on the up-and-up, hackers can’t usually get their hands on the file for the latest episode of a hot television show. But they can manipulate a different file: the subtitles. According to a report by Cujo, not only are those subtitle files separate, but they’re also displayed based on ranking.

Malware Hiding In Popular Movie Streaming Sites

Hackers’malicious subtitle files will be selected automatically by the media player.


Hacker’s files

The report states, “There are serious security problems with these streaming sites. The subtitle repositories are treated as a trusted source, due to the ranking system. However, they have not taken into account the fact that hackers can manipulate these rankings. This ensures that the hacker’s malicious subtitle files will be selected automatically by the media player, allowing the hackers to access millions of machines.”

Infect home network

The connectivity among home Wi-FI routers means gaining control of your smartTV due to malware can mean working its way to accessing your entire network. The internet of things-connected home is basically a giant data repository for hackers if the owner hasn’t secured the network and maintains strict AV software over everything. At the very least your router could be a pawn in the next DDoS attack, but it’s just as likely that a ransomware attack locks up everything from your laptop to your thermostat.

Update protection

Apart from the common sense takeaway – here’s an idea, maybe try not downloading movies illegally – it’s important to keep your system up-to-date and install security patches routinely. Be sure your own AV protection is updated, and if you’re not sure that your preferred streaming service has updated its platform, it’s a good idea to avoid the subtitles.

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