From the beginning of January 2020 to the end of June 2021, Kaspersky’s products detected more than 93,000 infection attempts disguised in the top five streaming platforms: Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV +, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
When it comes to original series on streaming platforms, The Mandalorian and Money Heist, due to their popularity, are most often used as bait for spreading malicious activities. These and other findings were revealed in the latest Kaspersky report, ‘Streaming wars continue — what about cyberthreats?’’, which deals with the analysis of threats related to streaming in the period from 2020 to 2021.
On-demand content and streaming services have seen a rapid increase in the last two years, which has been further accelerated by the pandemic. Quickly adapting to the increased demand for alternative sources of entertainment, cybercriminals saw their opportunity to use the impatience of users to watch their favorite series on streaming platforms, with well-known fraudulent schemes found on the web.
Kaspersky experts analyzed the latest trends and key developments related to entertainment-related threats during the most intense phases of the pandemic. Kaspersky products detected a total of 93,095 attempts to infect 18,938 unique users with 8,650 different files in the period from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Netflix is not only the leading platform in terms of membership, but also the most popular streaming service that cyber criminals use as bait. In fact, 89.93% of affected users faced malware or unwanted software while searching for Netflix and related content.
Distribution of malware and unwanted applications by platform, January 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021
Cyber criminals are actively using streaming shows and series as bait. According to Kaspersky, almost 60% of infection attempts occurred using only two batches as bait. The Mandalorian (28.72%) and Money Heist (28.41%), the two biggest hits in the world in recent years, have been actively exploited by cybercriminals spreading their malicious activities. Other series among the top five that fishermen regularly use as bait are Rick and Morty (9.69%), Peaky Blinders (9.25%) and Westworld (7.17%).
An example of a phishing site that offers streaming Money Heist series
Learn more about the threats associated with streaming services at Securelist
„More and more users are subscribing to streaming platforms to watch their favorite series. Since such viewing of content does not require downloading files, we would expect that this type of malicious activity will be reduced. However, cybercriminals are quickly adapting to new trends and devising more relevant types of scams. Comparing the data from 2021 with the indicators from 2020, we notice that downloading malicious files under the guise of TV series has become much less frequent, but that does not save users from other threats such as streaming phishing scams through which cyber criminals can steal their data and money, ”commented Anton V. Ivanov, a security expert at Kaspersky.
In order not to fall victim to malicious programs and scams while using streaming services, Kaspersky advises users to:
- Verify the authenticity of the websites before entering personal information. Use only official, trusted websites to watch or download movies. Check the URL formats as well as the spelling of the company name.
- Use a reliable VPN service such as Kaspersky VPN Secure Connectionto gain access to the regional content of different streaming platforms.
- Use a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, which identifies malicious attachments and blocks phishing sites.
- Avoid links that promise early viewing of content. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of the content, check with your entertainment provider.
- Be wary of any offers that look too good to be true, such as a “free one-year membership.”
- Whenever possible, access streaming platforms exclusively from your subscribed account on the official website or app from the official app store.
Source: Personal magazin by www.personalmag.rs.
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