Game of Thrones is, without a doubt, one of the most loved and followed TV series ever. A passion, this, which, according to what emerges from the results of an analysis conducted by some researchers of Kaspersky Lab, can jeopardize the safety and privacy of all those users who, to watch an episode of the famous series, resort to torrent files or to legitimate streaming platforms.
Researchers from the well-known cyber-security company have in fact discovered that hackers and other cybercriminals are actively using the episodes of Game of Thrones (and other very famous TV series, including The Walking Dead and Arrow) to spread malware and arrive so to infect the devices of thousands of fans.
Game of Threats: how cybercriminals use the most popular TV series to spread malware. The Kaspersky Lab study
“Game of Threats: how cybercriminals use the most popular TV series to spread malware”. This is the title given to the study conducted by Kaspersky Lab researchers, who observed how easy it is for cybercriminals to infect users’ devices by leveraging their passions, in this case, the TV series.
According to the analysis, it is mainly the Game of Thrones fans who have been hacked by taking advantage of and using infected pirated content. Last year, as many as20,934 users were attacked, followed by 18,794 fans of The Walking Dead and 12,163 Arrow fans.
“It is now clear how cybercriminals engaged in the distribution of viruses exploit the most sought-after TV series on pirated websites: usually they are dramatic or action television shows that have received extensive advertising promotion. The episodes that attract the greatest number of viewers, mostly the first and last of a season, are the ones most at risk. Cybercriminals tend to exploit the passion and impatience of the public, promising them new content to download that are nothing more than cyber threats,” said Morten Lehn, Kaspersky Lab’s General Manager Italy.
Lehn also warns users: “We remember that the final season of Game of Thrones will be broadcast this month […] an increase in the amount of malware that appears to be new episodes of the TV series is very likely.“
Therefore, the experts of Kaspersky Lab advise users to use only legitimate services to watch the episodes of a TV series in streaming; pay attention to the extension of the downloaded files, since an episode should always have an extension of the type .avi, .mp4 and the like, but beware of the .exe files; do not click on suspicious links, such as those that promise the vision in advance of an episode not yet aired.