The last season of Game of Thrones has beaten several records, including cyber crime.
According to Kaspersky Lab researchers, each episode has been accompanied by a long series of attacks targeting users. Those who were trying to download the recently released episode received, instead, malware with the name of the episode.
Some episodes have proven to be significantly more dangerous than others. The third episode, the Winterfell battle, was most used by cyber attackers. There have been even 3,000 attacks per day in his case.
Researchers from Kaspersky Lab tracked the malware activity associated with the entire eight season. They found that the average daily number of attacks was about 300-400. These involved malicious programs disguised in an episode of the Game of Thrones. The quantity increased to about 1,200 in the next few days by the release of each new episode.
The fans of the show also received viruses elsewhere. Some streaming sites where users can watch for free Game of Thrones episodes are designed to extract sensitive data from users. Typically, the icon displays a scene in an episode and redirects the victim to a page requesting information from the card.
Researchers have highlighted the similarities between this scheme and the latest scams about the latest Avengers movie.
“We see common TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures) on phishing sites where scammers try to steal user data by promising a pirated movie before the official premiere. We believe that there is a certain group of attackers who methodically hunt fans of movies and popular television productions, adjusting schemes according to the pop-culture events of the moment, “said Tatyana Sidorina, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky’s recommendations when looking at Game of Thrones or other serials
- Avoid misleading sites, especially those that distribute pirate content.
- Do not enter any information, especially card details, on a site where you have no reason to trust.
- Do not use the same password for different webpages. Instead, use a password manager.
- Install an effective antivirus software with protection against online fraud and phishing.