Legal streaming services have been getting quite popular across the globe and even in Kenya over the last few years. Among other factors, this would mostly be associated with the assured security that these various sites seem to offer, unlike illegal streaming platforms. But a report has now come out to claim that these popular services such as Netflix are not as secure as it may seem. Apparently, cybercriminals have found ways to use the services to inject malware into devices.
Data from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky reveals that between January 2019 and April 2020, 23,936 attempts were made to infect users. Hackers sought to gain access to various devices through various platforms. According to Kaspersky, this was done through unofficial means via files that used names of streaming platforms as a lure.
The highest number used Netflix with over 22,000 infection attempts being detected using the service as a lure.
“The so-called ‘streaming wars’ have only just begun, and as the popularity of these platforms grows, so too will the attention they receive from malicious users. This is particularly true since many of the platforms are experiencing unprecedented growth as a result of stay-at-home orders and employees being forced to work from home,” noted Anton Ivanov, a malware analyst form Kaspersky.
The attackers are reported to imitate the services and even offer popular shows only available on the specific service to get users to click, install or log in.
“Upon examining 25 original shows across the five platforms above, they found that the five shows used most frequently by cybercriminals as a lure were:
- 1) The Mandalorian (Disney +)
- 2) Stranger Things (Netflix)
- 3) The Witcher (Netflix)
- 4) Sex Education (Netflix)
- 5) Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
The Mandalorian was the show most frequently exploited by malicious users, with a total of 5,855 infection attempts registered,” said Kaspersky.
These hacks have proven to be really dangerous as they are mostly Trojans. Kaspersky says that these types malicious of files have allowed cybercriminals to do anything whether it is deleting, blocking data or even interrupting the performance of the computers used.
“Some of the Trojans distributed were Spy Trojans—particularly dangerous malicious files that track the users’ actions on the infected device. With spyware, users are susceptible to having their personal files and photos collected, as well as login and password information for their financial accounts,” said Kaspersky.
Users in Kenyan aren’t spared as the report states that 242 attacks disguised as Netflix were carried out as well. 117 South Africans, 77 Nigerians, 27 Ethiopians and 264 Egyptians also suffered as victims to these attacks.
Additionally, the researchers spotted attempts to distribute malware covered with local platforms like Showmax across various African nations.
And with the growing popularity, it is likely that more and more attackers are still cooking up other malicious ways to attack devices. These hackers are also expected to soon find ways of phishing malware that collect account credentials and financial information. So, you would want to make sure that the devices you use to stream content are as secure as possible.