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Torrenting and Piracy Platforms Are Exposing Users to Malware Through Ads

Most software and media that people want to consume require them to spend money. Those that would rather not spend money turn to piracy because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing them to download programs and various forms of content without having to pay anything at all. However, piracy sites can be quite risky to use, and research that was published by Digital Citizens Alliance revealed just how serious the problem might be.

This research was done in collaboration with White Bullet and Unit 221B, and with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that it shed some light on the huge number of malicious ads that such sites bombard users with. These ads contain links to actual malware that can infect user systems, and what makes this even more concerning is that the ads pose as antivirus software that some users might be tempted into checking out.

The ads often use prompts that try to trick users into thinking that their systems are already infected with malwares, and they contain calls to action such as buttons that they can click on to ostensibly clean and secure their systems with all things having been considered and taken into account. If a user were to click on this link, their system would actually get infected with a virus and there have been some instances where users faced ransomware attacks due to such clicks.


Malvertising is a veritable industry in the world of piracy websites, bringing in a whopping $121 million in revenue so far. It should be mentioned that only 12% of the ads shown on such sites contain malware, so users can exercise some basic precautionary measures to keep themselves safer than might have been the case otherwise. These sites are showing visitors hundreds of millions of dangerous ads, and $68 million of their revenue came from US based victims and targets. People living in the US need to be especially careful if they are using piracy sites, or better yet avoid them entirely.

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