Hackers are always tapping into the latest trends in hopes of stealing data and money, and with the craze surrounding The Last of Us, it’s no different.

The Last of Us is HBO’s TV adaptation of the PlayStation game of the same name, and has been a huge hit with fans and critics alike, with audiences praising the series across social media for, among other things, how truthful to the source material the TV show really is.

However, secueity experts are now warning of multiple scam campaigns active at the moment leveraging the series’ success to try and trick victims.

Active campaigns

Based on the data from cybersecurity researchers Kaspersky, a report from VPNOverview.com found that in one campaign the crooks are trying to deliver malware, and in the other – phish for banking information and other identity and financial data. 

To try and infect people with malware, threat actors built websites advertising the PC version of “The Last of Us Part II” – for download. In reality, The Last of Us is a PlayStation exclusive, meaning it’s never been available for PC. The developers are currently working on a PC remake of the original game, which should hit the shelves in March 2023. 

In the second campaign, victims would get an email (or would visit a malicious landing page) offering an activation code for the game, on PlayStation. The code is advertised as part of a gift, such as a PlayStation 5 console, or a $100 gift card. To receive the gift, the victims are asked to pay a commission fee, for which they need to provide their credentials and credit card data. The attackers would then take this data and steal the victims’ money. 

Gamers are often targeted with malware, not just for their purchasing power, but also due to the fact that many games come with in-game currencies and rare items which could be sold for a hefty sum on the secondary markets. 

As usual, the best way to protect against these scams is to use common sense – if something’s too good to be true, it probably is. 

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