Streaming TV series, beware of viruses

Looking for pirated streaming TV series? You might want to think twice, if not more: as Kaspersky shows, you could end up with an infected computer

Streaming pirated TV series can be far more dangerous than you might imagine. In addition to the ethical and legal implications of watching copyrighted content, there's also the risk of catching a virus. As always, in fact, whoever wants to spread a malicious code has all the interest to infect a file that will be downloaded millions and millions of times.

And, in fact, the more famous the series is, the more likely it is that the file you are watching is infected. This is not just a common sense deduction, but what emerges from the analysis conducted by Kaspersky Lab on the most watched streaming TV series, in pirated verisone, in 2017 and 2018. Hundreds of thousands of infections by viruses, trojans and malware of various kinds started, according to Kaspersky, right from an illegal file containing an episode of Games of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Arrow or one of the other highly followed American series.

What are the most infected TV series

Kaspersky has drawn up a real ranking of the TV series most used by cyber criminals to spread malware. All the most famous American series (or at least all their illegal versions) have been targeted and used to infect users. Here are, in order of attacked users, the most dangerous series:

1) Games of Thrones

2) The Walking Dead

3) Arrow

4) Suits

5) Vikings

6) The Big Bang Theory

7) Supernatural

8) Grey's Anatomy

9) This is Us

10) The Good Doctor

11) Stranger Things

12) Homeland

13) House of Cards

14) American Horror Story

15) Westworld

How to Avoid Viruses in Streaming Series

In light of the ease with which web criminals are able to spread their viruses via pirated copies of these media files, Kaspersky's recommendation is to absolutely avoid streaming illegal content. Those who just can't help themselves, on the other hand, should be very careful about the extension of the downloaded files: .avi, .mkv, .mp4 should in theory be less dangerous, while an .exe file is definitely suspicious because it is an application capable of executing (potentially) malicious code. As suspicious are always the links that promise to watch a new episode in advance of the normal release date. But the best advice is always the same: avoid risky behavior and equip yourself with a good security suite.