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6% of all cyberscams in Australia: Barbie scams stealing personal data

Amidst the peak of the Barbie movie craze, researchers from online protection company, McAfee have discovered a slew of new online scams as cybercriminals look to cash in on the summer blockbuster. Following a record-breaking opening weekend, McAfee is encouraging caution as consumers search Barbie-related Items online and may be more vulnerable to falling for a scam.

Cybercriminals are hoping to bait consumers with a rash of new scams that have cropped up online, including downloads of the film that install malware and Barbie-related viruses that point people to free tickets, but install data-stealing spyware instead.

Sharing personal and financial information with these scam sites leads to identity theft and fraud. Scammers might commit these follow-on crimes themselves, and they might post the stolen information for resale on dark web marketplaces as well—all of which puts movie fans at risk.

“Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for opportunities to make phishing and other scams more attractive and believable,” said Steve Grobman, Chief Technology Officer at online protection company, McAfee, “They often leverage popular and well-publicized events such as movie premieres, concerts, or sporting events to trick users into clicking on malicious links.”

6% of scams in Australia: Barbie-related malware is on the rise


In just the last three weeks, McAfee has seen a hundred new instances of malware that have Barbie-related filenames. While the majority are in the United States (37%), we’re also seeing instances worldwide with 6% in Australia, 5% in both the UK and India, and 3% in France, Japan, and Ireland.

Fake videos leading Barbie-branded attacks

McAfee researchers also discovered several fake and malicious videos that tempt consumers with Barbie tickets by downloading a file that is in fact loaded with malware. This malware known as “Redline Stealer” then siphons personal information, login details, and more from devices.


Fake Barbie Movie Download Scam

McAfee researchers have also discovered several examples of malicious campaigns that attempt to trick victims into downloading the “Barbie” movie in different languages. By clicking the link, it prompts victims to download a .zip file, one which is packed with malware.

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