‘The Kashmir Files’ malware hits cyberspace

All the attention on Vivek Agnihotri’s latest flick, ‘The Kashmir Files’, has emboldened another set of fraudsters, who are now sending malicious phishing links to defraud people who click on them.

According to the police, cyber fraudsters were sharing links containing malware claiming free access to the movie and promising that it could be downloaded. These links and messages are doing rounds on WhatsApp and other social media platforms with the police now being prompted to warn the people against messages promising links to Kashmir Files.

The Noida police have already registered some complaints in this connection, with some people approaching the police saying that as they opened the links, hackers gained access to information on the user’s phones and stole confidential details, including bank account numbers.

“Fraudsters are sending links on WhatsApp promising that you can download the movie for free. Once the person clicks on the link, it enables the fraudsters to access information on the user’s phone and easily steal confidential details, including information on bank accounts,” a senior official from the Hyderabad Cybercrime Police said, adding that however no such incident was reported in the city yet.

According to the cybercrime police, malware is unpredictable and it is hard to identify what content on WhatsApp contains malware.

“Behind every ‘Good Morning’ template we receive each day, there could be a malware hidden. However, just by downloading, money cannot be siphoned off. They need the OTP and other bank details to do so. If the phone number is not linked with internet banking, it is not harmful unless the user downloads malware and carries out frequent transactions as the account may be tracked,” the senior official said.

While the nature and kind of this malware are not clear, the police said it steals confidential information to carry out fraudulent transactions or to misuse a person’s identity.

“The problem is only when we click on the download option, it will be executed. Otherwise attacks are rare as malware links come in executable files. Once executed, it depends on the malware type what damage it can do,” the official added.

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