Is nothing sacred anymore?

Webb Hack

Hackers are using James Webb Space Telescope image files to spread malware on Windows computers, according to cybersecurity firm Securonix.

The firm’s research team identified a particularly famous deep field image, part of NASA’s first slew of Webb images revealed last month, but modified by hackers to infect target systems.

According to Securonix, the hackers are sending out phishing emails containing a Microsoft office document that includes the malicious deep space image.


While we don’t know how widespread the issue is, the code itself is pretty nasty.

“The image contains malicious Base64 code disguised as an included certificate,” Securonix’s researchers wrote. “At the time of publication, this particular file is undetected by all antivirus vendors according to VirusTotal.”

Once infected, the malware allows hackers to control the victim’s system. Specifically, the virus is a macro — which is interesting because Microsoft announced earlier this year that it would reversed the decision last month.

Hacker Memes

It’s not the first time an image has been used to spread malware. Other hackers have also used images, including memes, to hide malware and malicious programs.

However, Securonix notes that using this kind of image for spreading this kind of code was "not very common" and "something we are tracking closely."

READ MORE: Hacker Uses James Webb Space Telescope Image for Malware Attack [PCMag]

More on James Webb: Scientists Puzzled Because James Webb Is Seeing Stuff That Shouldn’t Be There

Share This Article