Your next search for free content online may cost you dearly. Because lurking behind these dubious websites offering free streams are cybercriminals waiting to piggyback your downloads with malicious software and viruses. And you know what they do, right?
On Tuesday (June 23), internet security firm McAfee released a list of popular movies and TV shows that were targeted by cyber criminals in Singapore. The horror flick The Invisible Man and the cop sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine topped the movie and TV categories, respectively.
“The circuit breaker period has seen a spike in online video consumption as Singaporeans shift to alternative entertainment platforms as they look for ways to be entertained, creating the perfect storm for cybercrime,” says Shashwat Khandelwal, McAfee’s Head of Southeast Asia Consumer,
“History has proven that cyber criminals follow consumer trends and behaviours to educate their scam strategies. It’s important that consumer’s stay alert while online and avoid malicious websites that may install malware or steal personal information and passwords.”
Here are the Top 10 most-targeted entertainment titles in Singapore:
1/ The Invisible Man
2/ My Spy
3/ The Way Back
5/ Gretel & Hansel
6/ Frozen 2
8/ Birds of Prey
9/ The Gentlemen
10/ Trolls World Tour
1/ Brooklyn Nine-Nine
5/ Babylon Berlin
6/ Dare Me
7/ Toy Boy
9/ Star Wars
10/ The Circle
McAfee arrived at their findings by going through more than 90 of the most popular titles mentioned by local publications that are available on streaming services in Singapore. It analysed web results for searches of these titles by coupling with modifying terms such as “free download”, “free login”, “free” and “Torrent”. (e.g, “The Invisible Man” and “free download”).
The company then assessed the risk levels of domains and URLs generated by these searches and assigned to the sites a risk-level score of ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘unverified’.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe online.
One, only download media from a reliable streaming service or source. Yes, you have to pay for it, but “free” sites come with a hidden price tag — they’re more likely to be crawling with malware.
And two, beef up their cybersecurity regularly.
Remember: Never let your guard down.