Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Arrow are among the most popular TV shows around. While the majority of viewers have to pay to be able to watch these TV shows legitimately, it goes without saying that there are free alternatives lurking around the internet (read: illegally downloading or torrenting the shows). Due to the latter method’s immense popularity, cybercriminals have often seen this as an opportunity to spread malware.
According to a recently Kaspersky report, malware is being embedded into popular TV shows on being hosted on illegal websites. Waiting for unsuspecting victims to download them. In 2018 alone, Game of Thrones contributed 17% of all infected pirated content, with 20,934 attacked, followed by The Walking Dead, with 18,794, and Arrow at 12,163.
Further investigation reveals that malware distributors usually tackle the first and last episode of each season, which has more traffic compared to others. As an example, the very first episode of every Game of Thrones season was found to be the most actively used by cybercriminals.
On a related note, it is worth pointing out that many of those individuals might not be as tech-savvy as the seasoned pirates. As such, they probably don’t know how to spot fake or risky downloads or carefully choose the website they visit.
Long story short, you’re better off watching your favourite TV shows on a legitimate source like Astro Go or Netflix. Sure, downloading shows and storing them for future perusal sounds appealing, but given the malware-infested scenarios, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
(Source: Kaspersky // Image: Kaspersky)