How to dance at home securely: Kaspersky researchers reveal which DJs’ names are most used to hide malware
April 2020 by Kaspersky
The current situation, when most of the global population is forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, has already had huge effects on the electronic music industry. As major music events like Coachella, Ultra, SXSW, Glastonbury, Time Warp have either been cancelled or postponed, some famous artists are moving online to streaming services like Facebook Live, YouTube and even Twitch.
However, users should be cautious if they want to download tracks they liked during DJs’ streams after Kaspersky researchers found that malicious files were hidden within tracks from some of the world’s most popular DJs, according to DJ Mag magazine. These include the likes of global superstars David Guetta and Calvin Harris.
The state of nightlife is changing: DJs and promoters are having to come up with new ideas and ways to maintain their activity. For instance, Ultra music festival, which should have been held on March 23, migrated online, announcing a weekend of a series of live music broadcasts: no special preparation, only live music from famous DJs’ houses, accessible to all lovers of modern music. The amount users attending such events has significantly grown, as it helps people stay in a positive mindset and can boost moods during the current lockdown. In recent weeks, there has been a surge in internet traffic as many daily activities, such as meeting with friends, are now held online. This trend to spend more time online may affect internet speeds, and therefore reduce the streaming quality, cause buffering or increase loading times. One way to avoid this situation is to download the music you want to listen to and switch to listening offline, especially if you cannot enjoy a stream properly. However, such practice without paying attention to the sources that the music is coming from may well lead to unpleasant consequences.
Analysis of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs list, conducted by Kaspersky researchers, showed that the process of downloading electronic music from the internet should be approached quite carefully. According to the research, the names of David Guetta, Alan Walker, Dj Snake, Calvin Harris and Martin Garrix are most commonly used by cybercriminals to spread malicious files to capitalise on the interests of electronic music fans.
These files contained a range of threats, including adware and malicious Trojans, used to destroy, block, modify, or copy data, or to disrupt the performance of computers or networks.
Chart 1. Unique malicious files using DJs names detected by Kaspersky products
The popularity of David Guetta’s name is quite clear: for the thirteenth year in a row, he remains amongst the top ten most famous DJs - according to DJ Mag magazine. Collaborations with famous artists like Kid Cudi or Nicki Minaj have made him even more recognisable.
“People have started to spend more time at home, and therefore consume more content. While listening to streaming or online services does not harm electronic music fans, they should be cautious if they want to download their favorite songs to their devices. As our research showed, malware can often be hidden behind such files, so people need to take additional measures to safeguard themselves from possible threats”, comments Anton Ivanov, Kaspersky security analyst.
Kaspersky products detected these malicious files with these next detection names:
In order to spend time comfortably listening to your favorite electronic artists, Kaspersky recommends taking the following steps:
• Double check artists’ latest releases and pay attention to the names of tracks and mixes. If the name of the file seems suspicious to you, or you never heard the song, do not download it.
• Try to download music from trusted sources for offline listening, such as Spotify or Audiomack.
• Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats.