Malware is coming. Hey Game of Thrones fans, we know Season 8 is premiering in slightly over a week, and we too can hardly wait to see who will survive in the first episode alone. (FYI, Team Snow FTW)
As paid entertainment subscriptions become increasingly prevalent in the way we consume our movies, TV shows, and music, most users are getting used to the idea and ethics of paying for content through legitimate sources such as Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu.
However, there still lies an immense popularity in users resorting to illegitimate means to get their hands on pirated content through illegal downloading, streaming or torrenting. And this is where the danger lies.
According to this April 2019 Kaspersky report, file-hosting, streaming services and torrents remain frequently popular for cybercriminals to spread their malicious codes due to the nature of its lucrative source content.
In recent years, TV shows (106.9 billion visits) remain the most popular product among users consuming copyright-infringing content, even more so than music (73.9 billion) and films (53.2 billion).
What Kaspersky’s study found was that the three most popular TV shows to be used as bait for attacks were Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Arrow.
Top 10 TV shows used as a disguise for malware in 2018 (Source: Kaspersky)
Game of Thrones accounted for 17% of all the infected pirated content in 2018 with 20,934 users attacked. The first and last episodes of each Game of Thrones season were analysed to be the most dangerous as these accounted for the greatest number of malicious files, with the very first episode of GoT ‘Winter is Coming’ being the most actively used by cybercriminals.
In short, we recommend that you are better off watching or downloading your content from legitimate paid subscriptions such as HBO Now or Netflix to satisfy your entertainment fix. And if you are torrenting, be careful about the torrents you use and always use a reliable VPN for extensive protection against Internet threats.
Click here to read the full Kaspersky report.