Piracy has been a popular outlet for malware since its inception, but a Kaspersky report brings some hard numbers to the table. By combining survey's with its internal threat database, the company has built a picture of the risks involved in piracy. It looked at the 10 most popular TV shows of 2018 and cross-referenced them with the virus submissions containing malware. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Game of Thrones was high on the list of infected titles, alongside The Walking Dead and Arrow. Per Kaspersky's numbers, Game of Thrones accounted for 17% of its infected pirate content, with 20,934 users attacked with a single type of malware. It seems the first episode of the show is particularly dangerous, with 33 different types of malware found over two years. Overall, the show tried to infect Kaspersky users with malware 129,819 times, with 9,986 files spoofing the show in the company's database. The good news is that this number decreased significantly from 2017, with 167,691 attempted infections. In terms of infection ratio, the show also wasn't particularly effective. “As we mentioned earlier, malware files disguised to appear as TV show episodes (no matter which) have hit an average of 2.23 users in 2018,” explained Kaspersky. “Out of the top 10 TV shows used for cyberattacks, Game of Thrones was only seventh in terms of the proportion of malicious files to the number of affected users. Moreover, it proved to be less effective as an average bait, there being one malicious file disguised as Game of Thrones per every 2.1 users attacked.”
Pirate Game of Thrones Episodes Attacked 129,000 Kaspersky Users in 2018
Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Arrow were the most popular shows to contain threats, according to Kaspersky's 2018 report. Attempted attacks contained trojans, adware, and malware.