Game of Thrones episodes are the most popular bait for threat actors looking to capitalize on spreading malware via pirated TV content, according to a study from Kaspersky Lab and BestVPN.com researchers.
The researchers detected more than 170,000 infection attempts from illegal downloads of “Game of Thrones” episodes affecting about 50,000 users.
Researchers said threat actors are increasingly turning to pirated episodes of popular TV shows as a vehicle to deliver malware since the malicious executable files can easily be binded with or disguised as video files that only require a user to launch the video file to trigger the infection.
The next most popular show used as bait was AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” with around 100,000 infection attempts detected on nearly 20,000 computers around the world with far fewer malware attacks for other TV shows.
Researchers detected in 13,257 attack notifications on malware disguised by or in Netflix’s “Stranger Things” affecting 4,600 users, 5,300 infection attempts on 2,063 computers disguised as HBO’s “Westworld” episodes, and 3,348 attempted attacks on 1,334 PCs from malware disguised as Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”