Phishing attacks on streaming sites growing, warn cyber security experts

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As the Covid pandemic drives traffic to streaming sites, cyber criminals have begun to lure unsuspecting users to phishing (similar looking) streaming sites such as Netflix, Apple TV Plus and Amazon Prime Video.Original shows such as The Mandalorian (Disney +), Stranger Things (Netflix), The Witcher (Netflix), Sex Education (Netflix), and Orange is the New Black (Netflix) too are being used for the malicious attacks by hackers.With the growing popularity of streaming services, these platforms are increasingly exploited by cyber criminals. After gaining access to users’ devices, the hackers collect account credentials and financial information. They lure the users to download adware and malware.These types of malicious files allow cyber criminals to do everything from deleting and blocking data to interrupting the performance of the computer. “Cyber criminals are using the names of streaming brands such as Netflix and The Mandalorian (a Disney + original) as a lure,” a cyber security expert at Kaspersky has cautioned.“For example, between January 2019 and April 8, 2020, more than 5,000 Kaspersky users were exposed to various threats while attempting to gain access to Netflix via unofficial files,” he said.Over 22,000 infection attempts were detected where the hackers used ‘Netflix’ as a lure. “When it comes to original shows on streaming platforms, The Mandalorian was the show most frequently exploited by malicious users, with a total of 1,614 users exposed this way and 5,855 infection attempts registered,” he said.Access via paid subscriptionCyber security experts ask the users to access streaming platforms via their own, paid subscription on the official websites or apps from official marketplaces.“Do not download any unofficial versions or modifications of these platforms’ applications. You need to use different, strong passwords for each of your accounts,” they have stressed. 

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