If you’ve also boarded the cord-cutting bandwagon and are using a pirated streaming device, it’s time to rethink your decision. A report from Digital Citizens’ cybersecurity investigators has revealed that popular piracy apps are ridden with malware that steals your username and passwords and uploads your data without your consent.
12 Million People Are At Risk
The study found that there are 12 million people in North America that use pirated devices. Hackers try to get hold of the home networks by shipping pre-loading malware into devices or in apps that are loaded from third-party. Out of the devices running on the Kodi platform, 70% of them access illegal content via addons or third-party apps.
Pirated Kodi boxes or jailbroken Firesticks are easily available on popular online platforms like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craiglist for $75 to $100. It is a one-time fee that a user pays for the device.
There are many addons available to access a plethora of pirated content including latest movies, TV shows and for live streaming sports.
Access to Home Network Can Be Dangerous
The report found that as soon as you connect these devices to your home network, you’re allowing the hackers to infect the network with malware by breaching your router’s firewall. Moreover, there are no security provisions in such boxes and devices, which further makes users an easy target.
During the research, Mobdro–a popular streaming app–searched through vulnerabilities in the network and uploaded 1.5 terabytes of data from the researcher’s device without his consent.
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What Can Be Done To Evade Security Risk From Pirated Boxes?
The report suggests the following measures to keep a check on hackers unleashing malware through pirated streaming apps and devices:
- Law enforcement must take the necessary steps to book the network selling pirated boxes.
- Awareness must be created amongst users about the security risk posed by such devices.
- Corporate employees must be strictly ordered not to connect any such device to the office network to protect sensitive information.
- Digital marketplaces must ban the sale of piracy devices and jailbroken Firesticks.