Those who searched for Netflix series Delhi Crime or the movie Mardaani 2 that is available on Amazon Prime Video in an attempt to watch those free online were at the greatest hacking risk, a new report revealed on Tuesday. As subscription-based models and content behind paywalls continue to trend, users who do not want to pay for premium content continue to search for free content online, exposing themselves to a host of vulnerabilities.
According to cyber security firm McAfee's new research on "top 10 web risk list" for both TV series and movies, 'Delhi Crime' and 'Mardaani 2' took the top place in their respective categories as identified by McAfee's Web Advisor platform.
Among the TV series, apart from Delhi Crime, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Panchayat, Akoori, Fauda, Ghoul, Mindhunter, Narcos, Devlok and Lost made the list (highest threat to the lowest) when searched online for free consumption.
"The lockdown induced surge in online entertainment traffic has brewed the perfect storm for cybercriminals. They are following and targeting consumers' obsession with accessing content - particularly for free," said Venkat Krishnapur, vice-president of engineering and managing director, McAfee India.
The hackers entice users to visit potentially malicious websites, designed to install malware or steal passwords and personal information.
Among the top 10 movies who the top 10 web risk list were Mardaani 2, Zootopia, Jawaani Jaaneman, Chapaak, Love Aaj Kal, Inception, Bahubali, Rajnigandha, Gully Boy and Bala.
According to the research, the viewership of regional language content is growing, and the rise in consumption of vernacular TV shows in metros and semi-urban India is an apt reflection of this, putting those who search for such content to watch free online at risk.
"Refrain from using illegal streaming sites. Many illegal streaming sites are riddled with malware disguised as pirated video files. Do your device a favor and stream the show from a reputable source," advised the researchers.
Krishnapur added: "In these uncertain times, it is crucial that consumers stay vigilant, invest in responsible online behaviour and recognize that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn't true".
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