Cybercriminals are actively using new episodes of popular TV shows to distribute malware, research by Kaspersky Lab has found. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Arrow are the shows receiving the most attention from attackers. These and other findings are published in a new report, ‘Game of Threats: How cybercriminals use popular TV shows to spread malware.’

 

TV shows are one of the most popular and universal types of entertainment, yet with the rise of torrents, online streaming, and other methods of digital distribution, they often suffer from copyright infringement. In many regions, such programs can now be consumed through illegal channels, such as torrent-trackers and illegal streaming platforms. Unlike legitimate resources, torrent trackers and hosted files may send a user a file that looks like an episode of a TV show, but is in fact malware with a similar name.

 

Seeing how easily TV shows downloaded from illegitimate resources can be replaced with malware-carrying versions, Kaspersky lab researchers took a closer look at such compromised files, covering both 2018 and 2017. Leading the list in both years was Game of Thrones. In 2018, it accounted for 17% of all infected pirated content, with 20,934 attacked users, followed by The Walking Dead, with 18,794, and Arrow, with 12,163.

 

This is despite the fact that in 2018, there were no new episodes of Game of Thrones released, while the other shows in the ranking were accompanied by high profile promotional campaigns.

 

In every case observed, the malware distributors opted for the first and the last episode of each season, with the launch episode the most actively used, for example, Game of Throne’s ‘The winter is coming’ episode in Season 1.

 

“We can see clearly that malware distributors exploit TV shows that are in high demand on pirated websites: these are usually actively promoted dramas or action series. The first and final episodes, attracting the most viewers, are likely to be at greatest risk of malicious spoofing. Online fraudsters tend to exploit people’s loyalty and impatience, so may promise brand new material for download that is in fact a cyberthreat. Keeping in mind that the final season of Game of Thrones starts this month, we would like to warn users that it is highly likely there will be a spike in the amount of malware disguised as new episodes of this show,” said Anton V. Ivanov, Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

 

To avoid falling victim to malicious programs pretending to be TV-shows, Kaspersky Lab recommends taking the following steps: 

  • Use only legitimate services with a proven reputation for producing and distributing TV-content.
  • Pay attention to the downloaded file extension. Even if you are going to download TV-show episodes from a source you consider trusted and legitimate, the file should have an .avi, .mkv or mp4 extension or any others, yet definitely not the .exe.
  • Pay extra attention to the websites’ authenticity. Do not visit websites allowing to watch TV-show until you are sure that they are legitimate and start with ‘https.’ Check that the website is genuine, by double-checking the format of the URL or the spelling of the company name, before starting downloads.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links, such as those promising an early view of a new episode; check the TV show schedule and keep track of it.
  • Use reliable security solution for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud.

 

Read the full text of the report on Securelist.com


RECOMMENDED ARTICLE FOR TECHWORLD


 
ASRock Kicks Off Mini PC Revolution with the World’s 1st Micro-STX DeskMini RX/GTX System
Techworld Date Posted: 31 January 2017 3:31 AM | 0 Views
Consumers nowadays are seeking for a tiny yet powerful computing gear. Hence, ASRock made its refresh DeskMini system debut at the recently concluded CES 2017.. See More
 
ASRock Kicks Off Mini PC Revolution with the World’s 1st Micro-STX DeskMini RX/GTX System
Techworld Date Posted: 3:31 AM | 0 Views
Consumers nowadays are seeking for a tiny yet powerful computing gear. Hence, ASRock made its refresh DeskMini system debut at the recently concluded CES 2017.See More

 
Study Reveals More Than Half of Asia Pacific Consumers Prioritize Security over Convenience in their App Experience
Techworld Date Posted: 24 August 2018 4:28 PM | 172 Views
Consumers will now trade app convenience for security, according to a study commissioned by F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) ‘The Curve of Convenience – the trade-off between security and convenience’. . See More
 
Study Reveals More Than Half of Asia Pacific Consumers Prioritize Security over Convenience in their App Experience
Techworld Date Posted: 4:28 PM | 172 Views
Consumers will now trade app convenience for security, according to a study commissioned by F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) ‘The Curve of Convenience – the trade-off between security and convenience’. See More

 
Fortinet PH Gives Back through Bloodletting Activity
Techworld Date Posted: 2 December 2017 4:07 PM | 356 Views
Fortinet Philippines, a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, recently conducted a bloodletting activity in support of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) National Blood Services, at the PRC Tower National Blood Center in.... See More
 
Fortinet PH Gives Back through Bloodletting Activity
Techworld Date Posted: 4:07 PM | 356 Views
Fortinet Philippines, a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, recently conducted a bloodletting activity in support of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) National Blood Services, at the PRC Tower National Blood Center in...See More

 
SAP Launches Youth Enablement Program in Southeast Asia
Techworld Date Posted: 16 September 2017 9:43 AM | 335 Views
SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announces the launch of its flagship program for young talents, SAP's Young Professional Program (YPP), in Southeast Asia. Developed by the SAP Training and Development Institute (SAP TDI), this.... See More
 
SAP Launches Youth Enablement Program in Southeast Asia
Techworld Date Posted: 9:43 AM | 335 Views
SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announces the launch of its flagship program for young talents, SAP's Young Professional Program (YPP), in Southeast Asia. Developed by the SAP Training and Development Institute (SAP TDI), this...See More

 
APAC IT Leaders Should Cultivate Situational Awareness to Thwart Cyber Threats
Techworld Date Posted: 26 July 2017 2:56 PM | 289 Views
Fortinet, a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, today advised IT leaders in Asia Pacific to hone their situational awareness skills in order to better defend their organizations against cyber threats. Human beings are.... See More
 
APAC IT Leaders Should Cultivate Situational Awareness to Thwart Cyber Threats
Techworld Date Posted: 2:56 PM | 289 Views
Fortinet, a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, today advised IT leaders in Asia Pacific to hone their situational awareness skills in order to better defend their organizations against cyber threats. Human beings are...See More

 
Five Ways to Make the Most Out of Your PLDT Home Prepaid Wi-Fi
Techworld Date Posted: 11 September 2018 10:59 AM | 261 Views
PLDT Home Prepaid Wi-Fi, the first prepaid service of the country’s No.1 broadband, is here and it is allowing more Filipino families to finally get their own high-speed Internet connection and enjoy their favorite.... See More
 
Five Ways to Make the Most Out of Your PLDT Home Prepaid Wi-Fi
Techworld Date Posted: 10:59 AM | 261 Views
PLDT Home Prepaid Wi-Fi, the first prepaid service of the country’s No.1 broadband, is here and it is allowing more Filipino families to finally get their own high-speed Internet connection and enjoy their favorite...See More

 
Cybercriminals Targeted at Least 400 Industrial Companies with Spear-Phishing Attack for Financial Gain
Techworld Date Posted: 6 August 2018 4:32 PM | 568 Views
Kaspersky Lab researchers have detected a new wave of financial spear-phishing emails disguised as legitimate procurement and accounting letters that hit at least 400 industrial organizations in an attempt to earn money for the.... See More
 
Cybercriminals Targeted at Least 400 Industrial Companies with Spear-Phishing Attack for Financial Gain
Techworld Date Posted: 4:32 PM | 568 Views
Kaspersky Lab researchers have detected a new wave of financial spear-phishing emails disguised as legitimate procurement and accounting letters that hit at least 400 industrial organizations in an attempt to earn money for the...See More

 
Industrial Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in H1 2017: Every Third ICS Computer Under Attack Was in Manufacturing Companies
Techworld Date Posted: 14 October 2017 1:53 PM | 358 Views
In the first half of the year manufacturing companies were most susceptible: ICS computers of them accounted for about one-third of all attacks, according to the Kaspersky Lab report “Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation.... See More
 
Industrial Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in H1 2017: Every Third ICS Computer Under Attack Was in Manufacturing Companies
Techworld Date Posted: 1:53 PM | 358 Views
In the first half of the year manufacturing companies were most susceptible: ICS computers of them accounted for about one-third of all attacks, according to the Kaspersky Lab report “Threat Landscape for Industrial Automation...See More

 
IDC Strengthens Organizational Goals with the Appointment of Randy Roberts as the Head of Operations of IDC Philippines
Techworld Date Posted: 11 April 2019 11:12 AM | 0 Views
International Data Corporation (IDC) announced the appointment of Randy Roberts as the new Head of Operations of IDC Philippines. Effective immediately, Randy will be responsible for IDC Philippines’ overall operations, services and support offering.... See More
 
IDC Strengthens Organizational Goals with the Appointment of Randy Roberts as the Head of Operations of IDC Philippines
Techworld Date Posted: 11:12 AM | 0 Views
International Data Corporation (IDC) announced the appointment of Randy Roberts as the new Head of Operations of IDC Philippines. Effective immediately, Randy will be responsible for IDC Philippines’ overall operations, services and support offering...See More

 
Stranger Danger A Third of Consumers Would Sell Their Private Data to Someone They Don’t Know
Techworld Date Posted: 24 April 2019 4:39 PM | 0 Views
Reckless data sharing online for short-term gains is leaving consumers exposed to more than they bargained for, according to new research from Kaspersky Lab1. Despite outrage and worry around high profile data sharing scandals,.... See More
 
Stranger Danger A Third of Consumers Would Sell Their Private Data to Someone They Don’t Know
Techworld Date Posted: 4:39 PM | 0 Views
Reckless data sharing online for short-term gains is leaving consumers exposed to more than they bargained for, according to new research from Kaspersky Lab1. Despite outrage and worry around high profile data sharing scandals,...See More


Power by

Download Free AZ | Free Wordpress Themes