The popular series’ – Game of Thrones’ – fans have been eagerly awaiting the weekly episodes of this wildly popular series in its final season. With this anticipation and enthusiasm for the show, comes an opportunity for phishing scam and hacker attacks.
This week, security researchers from well-known firms cited Game of Thrones as one of the most targeted series for phishing scam and malware scams. According to the researchers, “Game of Thrones–related malware species that attacked users in 2018 numbered almost 10,000 — or 9,986 to be exact. These malicious programs attempted to infect the users’ machines more than 120,000 times.” With the frenzy over the show’s final season, these attacks are sure to increase.
So, what can you do to avoid falling victim to this malware attack?
Watch this season’s episodes through authorized channels or streaming sources. Avoid questionable websites offering pirated downloads – period. If you do download a pirated version of the series, you run a very real risk of also receiving malware in that download. With your computer compromised you are now at risk for additional scams and even identity theft. And even before the download, you may be asked to provide personally identifiable information in order to “qualify” for it. This may be a phishing attempt that could lead to major headaches later.
To avoid a phishing scam of this nature:
- If you receive an email or text offering an advanced copy of the first or subsequent episodes, delete it. Any unsolicited email of the type is a scam.
- Don’t click on any links provided in the email or text.
- Don’t provide any login, personal information, bank account number, or credit card number in response to this email. Email, in general, is not a secure method for submitting this kind of information.
- Downloading any copyrighted video from the internet is illegal and you run the risk of receiving a bona fide copyright infringement letter.
It’s nice to keep up with the latest online trends, social media frenzy and all that but always make sure you are playing nice and you are protected against any threats. Be proactive and report any scams or suspected illegal online activities immediately.