No Way Home Torrent Contains Monero Cryptocurrency Miner
Some Marvel fans who have torrented the new Spider-Man film have instead downloaded cryptocurrency mining malware that could cause huge damage to their machines. Though downloading copyrighted content can result in serious penalties in most of the world, people still do it for a variety of reasons—and cybercriminals are well aware of this fact.
So what can this Monero miner do? How does it work? And if you’ve torrented Spider-Man: No Way Home, how can you tell if you’ve been a victim of malware?
What Is the Monero Miner Found in No Way Home?
There are countless ways to share files online, but torrenting is one of the most popular and efficient mechanisms to download and upload large amounts of data. In simple terms, torrenting is a method of file sharing through a decentralized network.
Contrary to the popular belief, torrenting is not inherently illegal. However, most popular torrent sites host copyrighted materials such as books, movies, and video games.
With Spider-Man: No Way Home, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise, breaking box office records, fans around the world are looking for ways to view it online for free. And so some have turned to torrenting.
Cybercriminals have seized on this and are deploying what appears to be a torrent file of the film—but the file actually contains a Monero miner, according to the American cybersecurity firm ReasonLabs.
Monero is thought to be the third most popular cryptocurrency in the world, behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. Like most cryptocurrencies, Monero is mined, which means that it is generated by solving cryptographic equations with the use of computers.
So what happens if you accidentally download a crypto miner?
Your CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit) start being used as resources to mine for a digital currency. This can slow down your PC and cause a myriad of problems, including severe hardware damage.
How Spider-Man: No Way Home Monero Miner Works
According to ReasonLabs, the Spider-Man: No Way Home torrent file identifies itself as “spiderman_net_putidomoi.torrent.exe.” Or, translated from Russian, “spiderman_no_wayhome.torrent.exe.”
This suggests that the file likely originated from Russian torrent sites, spread elsewhere, and is now being deployed on other popular websites.
The miner itself adds exclusions to Windows Defender and is not recognized as malware by VirusTotal as of yet, which means that it would proabably not be detected by most anti-malware software on an infected device.
The fact that this is an executable and not a video file should be enough of a warning sign itself, but it’s easy to see how a victim could execute the file, allowing it to inject malicious code and begin the Monero mining process.
Known for its privacy features, Monero has been embraced by criminals of all stripes. It is frequently used on dark web marketplaces and in other illicit activities, so it’s no surprise that cybercriminals are keeping an eye on pop culture trends and attaching Monero miners to movie torrents.
How to Tell if Your CPU Is Being Used to Mine Monero
So how can you tell if your device is infected with cryptojacking malware and being used to mine Monero, or similar digital currency?
For a start, if your computer is being used to mine crypto, it will most likely be significantly slower and there will be a noticeable effect on performance.
To be sure, you should check if something is wrong via the Task Manager. Simply right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager, or launch it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. In Task Manager, scan for unusual activity in Processes, Performance, and App history tabs.
You should also inspect network usage on desktop applications, which you can do by navigating to Settings > Network & internet > Data usage, and then clicking on View usage per app.
It goes without saying that you should consider investing in reliable anti-malware software to protect yourself and your computer from cryptojacking and other forms of cybercrime.
Steer Clear of Pirated Content and Stay Safe
MUO does not condone using torrents to obtain content illegally. This could not just get you in serious trouble with the law, but also harm your computer.
Whether you want to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home or play a video game, make sure you do so legally. And if you want to torrent content, stick to legal sites—there are plenty to choose from.
Here are all the best online sources to find legal torrents. With these, you can download lots of content for free!
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