‘Game Of Thrones’ Malware: Hackers Can Attack Your Computer Using Popular TV Shows

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According to Kaspersky, Game of Thrones’ audience is an easy target for hackers given that many people still prefer to illegally obtain pirated content through Torrent websites.

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Updated On:

Hackers and cybercriminals are playing all their cards to infiltrate your computer system using malware. According to Kaspersky, Game of Thrones’ audience is an easy target for hackers given that many people still prefer to illegally obtain pirated content through Torrent websites. The report states that torrent sites are in a “gray-fading-into-black area” and they are the obvious choice for hackers and cybercriminals disguising their malicious files as what people want to download.

Generally, scammers are more interested in attacking those looking to download software because it must be easier to slip in malicious executable files instead without a user’s knowledge. Of late, hackers seem more interested in TV shows and content. Kaspersky analysed the list of TV shows that are more vulnerable to these kinds of malware attacks. Topping the list is Game of Thrones, followed by The Walking Dead and Arrow.

READ | WinRAR users, beware! Hackers can gain unauthorised access to your computer

The report reveals that there were almost 10,000 types of Game of Thrones-related malware in 2018 and they tried to infect the users’ computers over 120,000 times. These stats are strictly limited to Kaspersky users in the year 2018 so the actual number of attacks around the world should be far bigger. Interestingly, hackers mostly slip in malware with the first episode of the first season of Game of Thrones, which is ‘Winter is Coming.’

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With these types of attackers, the payload may vary. It could be a malware that compromises your system’s security. In some cases, there can be adware or downloaders and they are equally bad, no matter what. The report suggests you are most likely to encounter ‘WinLNK’ Trojan that can download other malware, and given that Game of Thrones’ final season is dropping on HBO and Hotstar this month, the number of attacks might possibly increase in 2019.

How to stay safe

We do not absolutely encourage our readers to download pirated content from Torrent sites. However, we have a few tips to share on how to stay safe while indulging in these kinds of activities:

  1. Pay attention to the file size. One episode encoded with decent-quality should not be smaller than at least 1GB. But of course, it depends on the visual quality. If the file is unbelievably smaller or bigger, you should just stop right there.
  2. Pay attention to the file extension. Video files absolutely don’t bear .exe or .msi extension.
  3. Pay for content. It’s always better to opt for legally obtained content and stream TV shows instead of having to worry about malware, spyware or adware.
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