Joker malware
Image: Warner Bros.

Online scammers are using the 2020 Oscars to spread malware.

A recent study released by Kaspersky Labs uncovered several hacking and phishing campaigns promising their targets free and early access to Best Picture nominees for this year’s Academy Awards.

The study found over twenty phishing websites hosting at least 925 malicious files using the movies as bait, requiring would-be victims to either provide personal information (including credit card numbers), or to install adware applications to view the movies.     

Certain movies appear to have been more heavily targeted than others, with “Joker,” “1917,” and “The Irishman” as the three most popular lures. 

“To avoid being tricked by criminals, stick to legal streaming platforms and subscriptions to ensure you can enjoy a nice evening in front of the TV without having to worry about any threats,” said Kaspersky malware analyst Anton Ivanov in a press release announcing the company’s findings.