A cybersecurity firm has suggested Game of Thrones fans to observe the show through legitimate means to avoid the chance of catching malware.

Moscow-based on-line security company Kaspersky research laboratory printed a replacement report on how criminals use TV programs to infect devices with malware. The more well-liked and downloaded a show is, the more probably it's to unfold malicious software over the net.


Most Pirated TV show

The popularity of HBO's Game of Thrones has given the high-fantasy series the nickname of "the most pirated TV show" on the net. While it shows how in-demand the program is across the world, it doesn't translate to any profit.

In 2018, over 20,000 net users were tormented by malware when downloading free episodes of Game of Thrones. This represents about one-fifth or 17% of all infected cases throughout this year.

Interestingly, users pirated Game of Thrones even though HBO didn’t deliver a new season last year. The most downloaded episodes were the first and last of every past season. These served to be most probable carriers of malware. The show's first ever episode titled "Winter is Coming" is reportedly the worst malware infector of all.

Kaspersky unearthed 33 types of programs related to illegal downloads of Game of Thrones. Funnily enough, two of the most common threats found were named "Not-a-virus: AdWare" and "Not-a-virus: Downloader".

The company is expecting an increase in malware infections with the debut of the show's latest season.

"It won't come as a big surprise to see a new wave of malicious activity accompanying the release of the final season of Game of Thrones in April 2019," Kaspersky said.

Other popular TV programs that exhibit large malware threat to user’s are AMC's The Walking Dead, The CW's Arrow, USA Network's Suits, History Channel's Vikings and CBS's The Big Bang Theory,

The CW's Supernatural, ABCs Grey's Anatomy, and NBC's This Is Us are possible sources of malicious programs in 2018.


Malware Infections In 2018

As many as 126,340 net users were tormented by malicious programs in 2018, according to Kaspersky. The amount is a smaller than one-third of the total 188,769 cases recorded in 2017.

Meanwhile, the amount of users infected by malware through common content, like pornography, fell by as much as 45% last year. 

Malware numbers on the net additionally fell by 30% in 2018. Kaspersky alleged it detected 57,133 threats compared to the 82,091 samples that were caught in 2017.

The cybersecurity firm saw 451,636 total cases of malware attacks last year, a 22% drop from numbers the year earlier.

Kaspersky believes the drop may be a direct result of Google's restriction on torrent sites, which were popular sources of pirated content online by scammers.

IP owners have additionally taken on a active role in searching and closing down such websites everywhere on the net. One example would be when they brought down a favourite downloading website Leechers Paradise.


How to Stay Away From Malicious Programs

To avoid becoming a victim of malicious software on-line, Kaspersky recommends staying away from pirate websites. Users must always keep an eye out for potential threats, like Trojans, that might take over control of computers.

Here are some simple-to-follow tips from the cybersecurity firm:

  • Double check the credibility of internet sites before accessing them.
  • Make sure the spelling of a company's name or the address (URL) format is correct before downloading content from them. Pretend websites typically have some anomalies that might be known.
  • Avoid downloading files with mistrustful file extensions. Malicious programs usually finish with an ".exe" extension.
  • Be careful using torrents to download content from the net. Check users' comments about a specific program before using them.
  • Stay away from links with suspicious promises, like giving special access to TV show episodes.
  • Only use respectable and reliable cybersecurity choices for devices

By Amy at 5 Apr 2019, 11:30 AM