Researchers that deal with security issues in cyberspace have reported that they have found an exploit that hackers can use to take over personal computers, even smartphones, and smart TVs.
They are doing this through the downloaded subtitle files that are then played on various media players. It seems that hackers are encoding subtitles with malware and using it to hack into devices.
The exploit was discovered by Checkpoint which warns that they have found it on many platforms including the most popular ones like Kodi, VLC and Popcorn Time. It is also important to warn that it does not require a special device, as it is capable of installing the malware on any device that can use those media players or streaming platforms.
Checkpoint also highlighted that millions of people worldwide can be targeted via this malware. The security firm estimated that there can be around 200 million streamers and media players installed on personal computer devices that are still unprotected against this malware. This hack seems to be one of the most widespread and it includes zero resistance from the users.
The hack works in such a way that the hackers create a fake movie or series subtitles. Those subtitles contain a malware which will be transferred to the user’s device the second it is downloaded. Once that is done, the malware sends a notification to the hackers that the targeted system has been compromised and can now be tampered with.
Checkpoint discovered also that the subtitle files are used to embed code into them and since the text files which are used for subtitles, are seen as harmless and are trusted by all sides, they can easily be used to deploy such a sneaky strategy of a cyber breach.
The good thing about this is that there are already solutions being developed to protect the users from these kinds of attacks, or better to say, for users to protect themselves from the attacks. All the most reputable media players and streamers have already made the latest versions of their software available for users, and they contain a fix for the very exploit these hackers were using.
Users should be proactive and update their media players as soon s possible and should definitely stay informed of any possible future changes that might happen with the software.