Mark Mulready, VP of cybersecurity services at Dutch digital platform security specialist Irdeto, comments on the risks around accessing illegal content on TV box applications such as getting infected by malware or having one’s account credentials stolen and sold on the Dark Web for a profit
Singapore’s High Court has ordered Internet service providers to block access to TV box applications which allow users to stream and download content like movies, TV shows and live sports channels.
It follows the hearing of a motion filed in October by Singnet, Fox Networks Group Singapore, NGC Network Asia, Fox International Channels (US) and The Football Association Premier League. The Judicial Commissioner subsequently granted the proposed orders against eight authentication server domains.
“Much of the current industry focus when it comes to piracy is on content redistribution and measures to detect and deal with illegal streams, and rightly so. However, this is not just an issue for operators but for consumers as well,” says Mulready:
They must also understand that today, piracy and cybercrime are not necessarily separate threats as they will often come from the same origin. By watching illegal streams knowingly or unknowingly, consumers are potentially exposing their devices, data and families to risks of cybercrime, inappropriate content and other threats.
The same digital and connected TV platforms that cybercriminals target for illegal redistribution of content also act as attack surfaces for hackers looking to gain access to service providers’ networks and potentially steal customer information and other important data.
“For example, the growth of both pureplay OTT services and OTT offerings from operators has led to a big market in stolen credentials.
Today’s cybercriminal has customers to satisfy and must consider their return on investment (ROI) just like any other business, and this is where the Dark Web comes in.
The Dark Web is widely used for the sale of illegal goods and services including stolen credentials. Such marketplaces are located on a special-use Top-Level-Domain only accessible from browsers like the “Tor Browser” and almost all transactions on the Dark Web are executed via cryptocurrencies, making it harder for law enforcement to track these criminals and follow the money flow.
Content owners, rights holders, technology and security partners and law enforcement agencies are working hard to combat the threat of piracy and wider cybercrime, but consumers must also be vigilant to avoid the risks they may be subject to from illegal content.”