Here’s Why You Should Avoid Pirate Streaming Sites

Despite the existence of many legal and relatively interesting offers to watch sports, movies or series online, illegal streaming sites continue to have a lot of users. But those who visit these sites should be aware that they are exposing themselves to risks. Apart from being illegal, using these pirate streaming services also puts you at risk of getting your machine infected with malware.

You probably already suspected it, but some of the advertisements served by pirate sites may be aimed at tricking you into downloading malware. And recently, a study carried out by the American NGO Digital Citizens Alliance, with White Bullet and Unit 221B sheds light on this problem.

Entitled “The Unholy Triangle report”, the study evokes a very lucrative business whose actors are the owners of pirate sites, the “malvertisers” or malicious entities that use advertising, as well as advertising intermediaries.

In some cases, the malware these ads attempt to inject may encrypt all your data and then demand a ransom payment to unlock it. Others would rather steal personal data.

$121 million per year

According to estimates from the Digital Citizens Alliance, malicious ads account for 12% of ads displayed on piracy sites. And that would have allowed these sites to generate $121 million per year.

And apparently, this is commonplace on these websites. Indeed, the study suggests that nearly 80% of pirate sites include advertisements that can inject malware. The NGO also indicates that you have a 1 in 6 chance of encountering malicious advertisements when you visit a piracy site. But it seems that American Internet users are more likely to be targeted.

“Visitors to hacking sites faced approximately 321 million advertisements designed to harm them”also indicates the publication of the NGO. “Instead of banning harmful content, some advertising intermediaries are willing to facilitate campaigns involving blatantly misleading advertisements, such as a false claim that the user is carrying a computer virus, or advising illicit actors on effective tactics to scare or trick users into clicking on advertisements. »

As part of the study, investigators contacted one of these intermediaries and posed as an advertiser. They managed to get an ad approved that was clearly dangerous to visitors (the kind of ad that says there’s a problem with your device and asks you to download a utility that’s actually malware).

In addition to avoiding hacking sites that bombard you with dubious ads, installing antivirus software will help you better protect your data.

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