The way we are consuming the content definitely have changed but TV shows are still in demand. The viewers and fans are ready to adopt any means to watch or download them, including unethical and illegal ones. But the problem is not only that they are breaking the law but they are unaware of the risks associated with these pirated copies.
Game of Thrones is Actually Game of Threats
One of the popular names in the security industry, Kaspersky has analyzed the episodes of popular TV shows of 2018 and released a new report into malware disguised. Though there are many infected TV shows, the Game of Thrones torrents is found to be full of malware and other risks.
Read: What’s the Difference Between Viruses and Malware?
As per the report, the researchers at Kaspersky compared a total of 31 popular and most pirated shows of 2018 including the Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, Stranger Things, etc. On analyzing 31 shows, they have found 126,340 cases of malware posing as episodes. It’s important to note that this data sourced from millions of users worldwide who share the cybersecurity data with the company as part of the company’s Security Network.
After going through the report, I would like to share some key points:
- Among all the popular TV Shows, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Arrow had the most malware.
- There were almost 17% (one-fifth) of malware found in fake Game of Thrones episodes.
- The first and last episode of Game of Thrones was the worst in terms of malware. The first ever episode titled ‘Winter is Coming’ was one of the leading sources of malware. Kaspersky has detected 33 types and 505 different families of threats hiding behind this popular title.
- Talking about another TV show, American Horror Story was responsible for wider reach. Each malicious file posing as a genuine episode infected an average of three users.
However, the most interesting yet confusing fact is HBO didn’t release a single episode of Game of Thrones the last year. Kaspersky found two most popular malware named ‘Not-a-virus:Downloader’ and ‘Not-a-virus:AdWare’ delivered via TV show content. The most popular one being the dangerous malware type called Trojan.
The risks have not eliminated yet and never be in the future. With the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, even more, episode-based malware will start arriving.
Also Read: 5 Best TV Shows For Programmers and Hackers
So, if you pirate TV shows and are not worried about the legal letter from HBO or you can’t afford to pay for a show that costs $15 million per episode, then at least think about the malware and ensure your privacy and security.