By Dominic Chorafakis, P.Eng, CISSP – December 5, 2019
There has been a surge of hacks targeting torrent users by posting fake ads on popular peer-to-peer file sharing sites that direct victims to websites infected with exploit kits able to install information-stealing malware and ransomware on their computers.
Torrents are a common source of malware and viruses since the very nature of peer to peer file sharing means that the files you are downloading can come from anyone and anywhere. As a general rule you should not install torrent clients, and only download files from known, reputable sources.
If you insist on using torrents, you should assume that the computer you are using will be hacked and don’t use it for activities like banking or accessing your email. If possible keep it on a separate network by setting up a guest WiFi network that doesn’t have access to the rest of your network.
What you should do
Take the following measures to protect your systems from this attack:
- Inform your staff that hackers are targeting Torrent users and that accessing file sharing sites is prohibited
- Prohibit the use of peer-to-peer file sharing clients like uTorrent on computers connected to your network
- Ensure that all computers have the latest operating system and browser patches installed
- Consider using a reputable ad-blocker
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