Millions who have accessed stream sites or downloaded files for free may have unknowingly installed software that could be tracking them right now, according to a study produced by British cops and copyright protection bodies.
This malware could let a criminal sitting on the other side of the world steal the details needed to nick cash from victims’ bank accounts.
All a heartless hacker would need to do is install “keytracking” software which records what victims type and then wait until they put their sort code, account number and other private data into a banking website.
“The criminals behind digital piracy often make the content freely available as ‘bait’ to attract large numbers of visitors,” the report said.
The report highlighted the ways scammers make money by illegally streaming films, sporting events or other copyrighted material.
First, they build a large audience for the streams, which are accessed using devices like the Kodi Box.
“They then make money by charging other cybercriminals to put malware on the site, enabling those criminals to hijack the users’ computers,” the report continued.
Crooks also use “innocent people’s” stolen credit cards to access hundreds of premium channels, before nicking the content and streaming it.