Hackers hiding malware in ‘Games of Thrones

Cybercriminals using latest ‘Games of Thrones’ season to distribute malware 2019

On April 14, the final season of the extremely successful fantasy series, Games of Thrones (GoT), will be premiering. Fans of Games of Thrones were eagerly waiting on the entertainment channel, HBO, for the eight-episode eighth season of the series to be airing.

In the eagerness to capture the latest episodes, many fans turn to other digital distribution techniques such as torrents and illegal streaming online to download the latest series of Games of Thrones. Cyber criminals apparently use this chance to hide malware within torrents and spread such users ‘ pcs, safety company Kaspersky argues.

Cyber criminals use the latest episodes of Game of Thrones as a bait to target unsuspecting consumers, according to a recent study by safety company Kaspersky. They even target consumers with other famous television shows such as The Walking Dead and Arrow, Kaspersky claims.

“Unlike lawful funds in many areas, torrent trackers and host files can send a user a file that looks like an episode of a TV show, but is actually malware with a comparable title,” Kaspersky Labs said in his’ Game of Threats: How cyber criminals use famous TV shows to spread malware ‘ report.

Although no fresh Games of Thrones episodes were published in 2018, it still accounted for 17 percent of all pirated material infected in 2018, with 20,934 attacked consumers. Other famous television demonstrates such as The Walking Dead, 18,794, and Arrow, 12,163, with the largest amount of infected customers followed.

“This is despite the reality that no fresh episodes of Game of Thrones were published in 2018, while high-profile promotional campaigns accompanied the other shows in the ranking,” Kaspersky said.

The company also discovered that malware distributor chose the first and last episodes of each Game of Thrones season, as viewership is generally greater in these episodes. For those unaware, Game of Thrones Season 7’s first episode was illegally downloaded and streamed over 120 million times in less than 72 hours.

“The first and last episodes are likely to be at the highest danger of spoofing maliciously. Online fraudsters tend to exploit the allegiance and impatience of individuals, so they can promise brand new download content that is actually a cyber threat, “said Anton V. Ivanov, Kaspersky Lab Security Researcher in a declaration. “Bearing in mind that the final season of Game of Thrones begins this month, we would like to warn consumers that a spike in the quantity of malware disguised as fresh episodes of this series is extremely probable to occur.”

Kaspersky discovered 33 kinds and 505 distinct threat relatives behind the name of the Game of Thrones within two years. An average of 2.23 users were assaulted seven times for each malware file disguised as a TV show.

However, a comparison between the 2017 and 2018 outcomes showed a reduction in the number of such malware files, assaults, illegal downloads, and customers impacted, as many consumers opt for famous streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu to watch their favourite TV series. In 2018, the download of illegal torrents for TV series fell by a third from the prior year.

We recommend to our customers watch the recent Game of Thrones season legally by subscribing to HBO or Hotstar (if you’re in India) to enjoy a hack-free experience.

Source: Kaspersky

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