While spring may still be trying to ease in, winter is set to return in just a couple weeks with the series finale of Game of Thrones, meaning cybercriminals will be busy using buzz surrounding the show to lure fans with the promise of torrented content.
Fans of the show looking to pirate episodes may not be in fear of losing life and limb to the legal system, but Kaspersky researchers found they are definitely at the mercy of malware when torrenting the popular show.
Researchers found Game of Thrones content accounted for nearly 17 percent of all infected pirated content last year accounting for 20,934 users attacked, despite not releasing any new episodes in 2018, according to the firm’s Game of Threats report.
In a two year period, researchers detected 33 variants of malware and 505 different families of threats using the promise of torrent Game of Thrones episodes.
The first and last episode of each season turned out to be the most dangerous and accounted for the greatest number of malicious files with the first episode of the series, "Winter Is Coming," being one of the most actively used lures by cybercriminals.
The majority of malware found to use TV shows as lures included trojans, adware, downloaders and worms. Users may be better off purchasing an HBO subscription and waiting until scheduled releases to view the show.