Malware peddlers take advantage of Sony’s decision to pull controversial film

In the wake of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s decision to scrap the theatrical release of the controversial film “The Interview” altogether, cyber criminals of another kind have move in to take advantage of the continuing interest the public has in the movie.

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers,” the company announced on Wednesday.

“Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

The jury is still out on whether the Sony attack was executed by North Korean hackers. If it has, Sony’s decision to pull the film might make them stop leaking the rest of the stolen data – I’m sure Sony hopes so fervently.

Still, their decision might influence other hackers in the long run, and we might see more of these kind of attacks in the future.

In the meantime, copyright intelligence firm Excipio has been monitoring the Internet for pirated copies of “The Interview,” as the Sony attackers have already leaked five of the studio’s officially unreleased films, and the conclusion is that there are none.

But there are torrents leading to files that purport to be a copy of the movie, and unfortunately for those eager to get their hands on them, they are usually malicious executables.

The downloaded files are either unwanted software like adware or expressly malicious software masquerading as codecs or video players supposedly needed for the file to be run, Softpedia’s Ionut Ilascu reports.

Other scammy schemes make the victims complete online surveys in order to download the movie.

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