Researchers from Fortinet are warning of a new threat to be on the lookout for.

Right now, NFTs are all the rage. Everyone is talking about them, and many are excited about them. Unfortunately, hackers have been quick to take advantage of that fact, and the Fortinet researchers have stumbled across a poisoned spreadsheet that purports to contain information about NFTs.

The spreadsheet quietly deploys a malware strain called BitRAT when opened.

BitRAT is a particularly nasty strain of malware that first appeared for sale on the Dark Web back in late 2020. It is notable because it can bypass User Account Control (UAC), a Windows feature designed to prevent unauthorized access to the OS.

Once installed on a target system, BitRAT can steal login credentials from browsers and other applications. In addition, it can log keystrokes and upload or download files, making it more than capable of installing different forms of malware once the beachhead has been established.

It's too early to say whether NFTs are here to stay or just a flash in the blockchain pan. But, if they generate buzz and excitement worldwide, hackers will continue exploiting that excitement.

As the Fortinet researchers put it:

"Be mindful that attackers often use interesting and trendy subjects as lures. In addition, as NFTs become increasingly popular, they will be used to entice victims into opening malicious files or clicking on malicious links."

The best thing you can do is to educate your employees and inform them of the threat. Remind everyone that no matter how exciting the topic might be, it's never a good idea to open files from untrusted sources or click on links embedded in emails. If you need to go to a website, open a new browser tab and manually type in the URL. Better safe than sorry.