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Over 31,000 users in the UAE were attacked by malware disguised as music from Grammy nominees

Kaspersky detected a 39% rise in attacks (attempts to download or run malicious files) under the guise of Grammy nominees’ work last year

Over 31,000 users in the UAE were attacked by malware disguised as music from Grammy nominees

Cybercriminals attacked users in the UAE through malware disguised as music of popular musicians that were nominated for a Grammy this year. Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Post Malone were attackers’ favorites, with these nominees’ names used most often in 2019 as a disguise for malware.

Kaspersky researches analyzed Grammy 2020 nominated artists’ names and song titles for malware and found well over 30,982 malicious files that used the names of artists or their tracks in order to spread malware, with 41,096 Kaspersky product users having encountered them.

The connection is quite strong as evidenced with break out artist Billie Eilish in particular. The singer that went on to win multiple grammy's was popular in 2019, and the number of users who downloaded malicious files with her name has risen from 254 to 2171, the number of unique distributed malicious files increased from 221 to 1,556.

Users in the UAE accounted for only 139 attacks in 2018, last year saw this number increased to 31,782. Overall, United Arab Emirates saw 61 of such malicious files distributed in this region in 2019, with 100,961 attacks.

“Cybercriminals understand what is popular and always strive to capitalize on that. Music, alongside TV shows, is one of the most popular types of entertainment and, as a result, an attractive means to spread malware, which criminals readily use. However, as we see more and more users subscribe to streaming platforms, which do not require file download in order to listen to music, we expect that malicious activity related to this type of content will decrease,” – comments Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky security analyst.

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