Streaming or Downloading Game of Thrones Season 8 May Get You Malware

Streaming or Downloading Game of Thrones Season 8 May Get You Malware

Season 8, the last season of the incredibly popular Game of Thrones TV show is finally here, and perhaps you’ve already seen it.

However, many people who didn’t get to watch the premiere episode on HBO will likely turn to third-party streaming and torrenting sites, and this hides many risks, warn security experts. Scammers are going to take advantage of the hype surrounding Game of Thrones, and there’s no second opinion about this.

Game of Thrones Season 8 and the Risks of Torrenting and Streaming

Streaming and torrenting websites and services are typically associated with dubious behavior and malware. Even though it is not that difficult to spot a dangerous website, users can still fall short of attention and be tricked by the voluptuous promise to watch their favorite show. Scammers know all too well how to exploit our vulnerabilities.

Thus, security and privacy experts are now warning people about the dangers of dubious streaming and torrent websites.

For example, in a conversation with The Independent, Javvad Malik, a security advocate at AT&T CyberSecurity, stressed on the fact that “these risks from illegally streaming or downloading Game of Thrones are the same as downloading any other illegal file – it could contain anything malicious.”

So, while it may appear to be the latest Game of Thrones episode, it could actually be a host of a nasty virus or malware that plants malicious files on your device in the background. These could later be used by hackers to steal personal information and banking details if they go undetected by AV or anti-malware software,” the expert continued.

Files shared by CracksNow, a popular uploader of software cracks and keygens, have been infected with GandCrab and other malware.
CracksNow Uploader Banned from Torrent Sites for Spreading GandCrab.

According to another expert, Jake More from ESET:

The potential for malware is staggering, and people who are inclined to torrent irresistible content will have to make sure they are sufficiently protected. If not, they risk becoming victims of cyber criminals who could mine personal data, such as credit card details, addresses, and shopping habits – all of which could then be sold on the dark web.

The expert’s opinions are a mere reminder that scammers and malware operators never sleep, and are always looking for ways to exploit users. Furthermore, users are also very likely to misconduct, as proven by the results of a recent survey. UK privacy firm Comparitech recently discovered through a survey that half of UK adults were willing to take the risk by searching for a pirated version of their favorite TV show.

An interesting fact is that the first and last episode of a season of a TV show are often favored by crooks to deliver malware. This is not surprising as these episodes generate the most hype, and crooks are smart enough to exploit the hype. Phishing scams can also be themed with Game of Thrones-related things about the cast, spoilers, etc.

Long story short, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, be alert – scams are coming your way.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum for 4 years. Enjoys ‘Mr. Robot’ and fears ‘1984’. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles!

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