Illegal sports streaming sites are full of malware (opens in new tab)some of which are capable of draining victims’ bank accounts, a new report from Opentext Security Solutions reveals.
Opentext recently analyzed 50 “popular” illegal streaming sites and found that “each” contained malicious content. In addition, four in ten did not have the necessary security certificates. To top it off, users are also “bombed” with explicit and extreme pop-up ads.
“With a huge TV weekend coming up, including Anthony Joshua’s final fight, the launch of House of the Dragon and Man Utd vs Liverpool in the Premier League, viewers could be tempted to stream illegally,” it said. report. “However, they can also expose themselves to a slew of dangerous material designed to separate them from their personal information and ultimately their money.”
Banking Trojans galore
There are different types of threats on these sites, the researchers claim, but banking Trojans designed to steal people’s money are perhaps the most damaging. The distribution method is also quite simple: when people press the mute button for the video stream, they download the virus (opens in new tab).
“Users didn’t even have to enter information — one click was enough to do the damage,” the researchers warned.
In previous years, bitcoin-related scams were the most common, but this year there was a “notable absence”. Instead, fraudsters go for other types of cryptocurrencies.
Finally, these sites expose people to explicit content. The researchers described the content as “extreme” and “a real risk to families who could share devices with children.”
In other words, streaming sports events on illegal sites isn’t worth the money saved, especially when you know that many of these sites don’t actually offer a real streaming service, but are simply trying to trick people into visiting them.
“These illegal streaming sites are often operated by criminal enterprises to obtain and resell users’ personal information,” added Kelvin Murray, Senior Threat Researcher at Opentext Security Solutions.
“There is no safe way to use them without putting yourself at risk. As the people who run these sites get smarter, the scams they use to trick users into giving up their details will be harder to spot. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid these types of websites and do not put yourself at risk.”