Searching for pirate copies of Game of Thrones could lead to malware infection

When you pirate the Game of Thrones - you either win or get infected with malware

Pirated software

Security researchers have warned that Game of Thrones fans may be at risk of malware when searching for pirate copies of the hit HBO series.

Research carried by RiskIQ identified over 450 pirate content sites serving malware to people trying to download or stream illegal versions of Game of Thrones. It said that recent investigation it carried out showed that 6 in 10 consumers access pirated content and 75 per cent of it is often used as the bait to serve malware.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The firm used its virtual user technology across five countries, running Google searches for Game of Thrones download or streaming content and interacting with the resultant list of URLs as real users would.

It said that even with the ongoing efforts of the show's creator to shut down illegal websites, at the end of ten days of scanning it identified more than 450 unique sites serving malware. Of these, the company identified 323 unique sites and 571 unique pages on those sites serving malware and 127 unique sites and 668 unique pages that had recently been flagged by other security organisations as malicious, although its virtual users weren't infected.

"While we're increasingly hearing that pirate sites are to be avoided, our recent research into people's behaviour shows that the message is being ignored by many", said Ben Harknett, VP of EMEA at RiskIQ. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Specific examples like this will hopefully make it more real for people and result in a change in behaviour. It's not only your internet safety that you put at risk, but your employer's as well if you use your personal devices to access corporate systems".

The research was conducted earlier in May with virtual users launched from the US, UK, Germany, France and Netherlands. Of the malicious pages detected, 34 per cent were spreading malware through malicious ads.

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data
Google Android

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data

7 Jul 2020
Best antivirus for Windows 10
antivirus

Best antivirus for Windows 10

30 Jun 2020
Searching for a new job? That LinkedIn job offer may be fake
hacking

Searching for a new job? That LinkedIn job offer may be fake

19 Jun 2020
Evasive malware threats doubled in 2019
malware

Evasive malware threats doubled in 2019

24 Mar 2020

Most Popular

How do you build a great customer experience?
Sponsored

How do you build a great customer experience?

20 Jul 2020
Labour Party donors caught up in Blackbaud data breach
data breaches

Labour Party donors caught up in Blackbaud data breach

31 Jul 2020
Why it’s time to expand beyond 16:9 monitors
Advertisement Feature

Why it’s time to expand beyond 16:9 monitors

21 Jul 2020