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


 
Nokia Mobile Introduces Edge-to-Edge Smartphone Experience
Techworld Date Posted: 16 October 2018 4:05 PM | 298 Views
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced the availability of the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Nokia 5.1 Plus in the Philippines.. See More
 
Nokia Mobile Introduces Edge-to-Edge Smartphone Experience
Techworld Date Posted: 4:05 PM | 298 Views
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced the availability of the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Nokia 5.1 Plus in the Philippines.See More

 
Fortinet Positioned Furthest for Completeness of Vision in the Challengers Quadrant of Gartner’s First Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure
Techworld Date Posted: 28 November 2018 1:24 PM | 215 Views
Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, has announced their inclusion in Gartner’s first Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure as a Challenger with the furthest placement for.... See More
 
Fortinet Positioned Furthest for Completeness of Vision in the Challengers Quadrant of Gartner’s First Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure
Techworld Date Posted: 1:24 PM | 215 Views
Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT), a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cybersecurity solutions, has announced their inclusion in Gartner’s first Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure as a Challenger with the furthest placement for...See More

 
Kaspersky Lab Launches Awards Campaign to Increase Awareness on Internet Safety
Techworld Date Posted: 9 August 2017 1:35 PM | 377 Views
Kaspersky Lab has launched a campaign in Asia Pacific to educate the public and spread awareness on Internet safety. Known as the Goondus Awards, the campaign is inviting submissions from the public on Internet.... See More
 
Kaspersky Lab Launches Awards Campaign to Increase Awareness on Internet Safety
Techworld Date Posted: 1:35 PM | 377 Views
Kaspersky Lab has launched a campaign in Asia Pacific to educate the public and spread awareness on Internet safety. Known as the Goondus Awards, the campaign is inviting submissions from the public on Internet...See More

 
Fortinet Accelerates and Secures the Cloud On-Ramp with New Next-Generation Firewalls
Techworld Date Posted: 22 August 2019 10:01 AM | 94 Views
Fortinet Accelerates and Secures the Cloud On-Ramp with New Next-Generation Firewalls. See More
 
Fortinet Accelerates and Secures the Cloud On-Ramp with New Next-Generation Firewalls
Techworld Date Posted: 10:01 AM | 94 Views
Fortinet Accelerates and Secures the Cloud On-Ramp with New Next-Generation FirewallsSee More

 
Get First Dibs to Early Christmas Treats with Lazada’s Online Revolution Sale
Techworld Date Posted: 2 November 2017 3:19 PM | 651 Views
It is the happiest time of the year again. Christmas starts early in the Philippines, and Lenovo and Motorola join Filipinos young and old in welcoming Christmas season 2017 with an early Christmas treat.... See More
 
Get First Dibs to Early Christmas Treats with Lazada’s Online Revolution Sale
Techworld Date Posted: 3:19 PM | 651 Views
It is the happiest time of the year again. Christmas starts early in the Philippines, and Lenovo and Motorola join Filipinos young and old in welcoming Christmas season 2017 with an early Christmas treat...See More

 
Team Group Leads Industry with MoStash Reader for iOS and the WC0C Charging Cable with 3-in-1 Connector
Techworld Date Posted: 8 September 2017 1:29 PM | 33 Views
September 7th, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan - Team Group is continuously dedicated to satisfying the needs of our consumers in every aspect so today Team Group announces the latest mobile peripherals with rich features with.... See More
 
Team Group Leads Industry with MoStash Reader for iOS and the WC0C Charging Cable with 3-in-1 Connector
Techworld Date Posted: 1:29 PM | 33 Views
September 7th, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan - Team Group is continuously dedicated to satisfying the needs of our consumers in every aspect so today Team Group announces the latest mobile peripherals with rich features with...See More

 
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are Changing the Way We Do Business
Techworld Date Posted: 28 November 2017 10:29 AM | 381 Views
Today, every organisation needs to reimagine its business model. Customers expect business to meet them anywhere, any time, on any device. To meet this speed of response, businesses need to be ahead of the.... See More
 
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Are Changing the Way We Do Business
Techworld Date Posted: 10:29 AM | 381 Views
Today, every organisation needs to reimagine its business model. Customers expect business to meet them anywhere, any time, on any device. To meet this speed of response, businesses need to be ahead of the...See More

 
Exciting Prizes Await Lucky Subs on TNT’s New Facebook Game Show
Techworld Date Posted: 2 July 2019 9:00 AM | 48 Views
Exciting Prizes Await Lucky Subs on TNT’s New Facebook Game Show. See More
 
Exciting Prizes Await Lucky Subs on TNT’s New Facebook Game Show
Techworld Date Posted: 9:00 AM | 48 Views
Exciting Prizes Await Lucky Subs on TNT’s New Facebook Game ShowSee More

 
STAR WARS FANS: CHOOSE YOUR SIDE!
Techworld Date Posted: 9 November 2017 1:11 PM | 405 Views
PHILIPPINES — November 8, 2017: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY), the world’s leading PC manufacturer, today announced that its highly anticipated,. See More
 
STAR WARS FANS: CHOOSE YOUR SIDE!
Techworld Date Posted: 1:11 PM | 405 Views
PHILIPPINES — November 8, 2017: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY), the world’s leading PC manufacturer, today announced that its highly anticipated,See More

 
XPG SX8200 Named as One of the Best SSDs on the Market
Techworld Date Posted: 2 June 2018 10:05 AM | 470 Views
ADATA’s XPG SX8200 M.2 2280 SSD has been named as one of the best SSDs on the market by tech media Tom’s Hardware. Receiving a 9/10 score, the reviewer cited the SSD’s strong consumer.... See More
 
XPG SX8200 Named as One of the Best SSDs on the Market
Techworld Date Posted: 10:05 AM | 470 Views
ADATA’s XPG SX8200 M.2 2280 SSD has been named as one of the best SSDs on the market by tech media Tom’s Hardware. Receiving a 9/10 score, the reviewer cited the SSD’s strong consumer...See More


Power by

Download Free AZ | Free Wordpress Themes