Researchers and hackers both constantly have to keep upping their game in order to get around the other. Along the same, researchers have discovered that some really clever hackers are spreading malware through the use of subtitle files for movies.
The new exploit was first discovered by Checkpoint, which says that the exploit worked by dumping the malware into your system once you installed and opened the subtitles. Once it was opened, it then contacted home base. Folks using apps like Popcorn Time and VLC., and then finding their systems malware laded, have been reported.
Apparently, the subtitle files allowed hackers to embed the code for the malware right inside. They did this with popular titles first, so that the maximum number of people would be affected.
As per Checkpoint:
￼Our research reveals a new possible attack vector, using a completely overlooked technique in which the cyberattack is delivered when movie subtitles are loaded by the user’s media player. These subtitles repositories are, in practice, treated as a trusted source by the user or media player; our research also reveals that those repositories can be manipulated and be made to award the attacker’s malicious subtitles a high score, which results in those specific subtitles being served to the user. This method requires little or no deliberate action on the part of the user, making it all the more dangerous.
Unlike traditional attack vectors, which security firms and users are widely aware of, movie subtitles are perceived as nothing more than benign text files.
While apps like VLC, Kodi, and so on, would already have received an update (or it must be getting there), to prevent issues from taking place, there are some like Popcorn Time, which haven’t. So, our advice to you, would be to stop using these players and stay safe with the other, updated options.