As the final season of Game of Thrones fast approaches, fans are being warned against illegally downloading the episodes. This is thanks to new data suggesting that pirated episodes of the HBO series contain high instances of viruses and malware.
For many, the hit epic fantasy series is a luxury that can’t be afforded thanks to having to pay premium rates for HBO subscriptions around the world. However, security researchers at Kaspersky Lab are warning those who plan to illegally download each episode of Season 8 of Game of Thrones should consider the dangers associated with pirated copies of the series.
According to the report, many of the illegal Game of Thrones torrents contain viruses that can ruin or give hackers access to your computer.
“Game of Thrones accounted for 17 percent of all the infected pirated content in 2018, with 20,934 users attacked, despite being the only TV show in the list that didn’t have new episodes released in 2018,” the report revealed.
As Nine.com.au points out, the premiere episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones was “illegally downloaded and streamed more than 120 million times in under 72 hours.” And, if the hype leading up to the final season is any indication, it is possible this number could be surpassed in the days after the Season 8 premiere on April 14. This is also something the report looked into.
“The first and the last episodes of each Game of Thrones season we analyzed turned out the most dangerous, accounting for the greatest number of malicious files in Kaspersky Lab’s collection and affecting the most users.”
While the statistics are frightening, the good news is that piracy and illegal downloads appear to be on the decrease in 2018, compared to 2017. The figures show that downloading illegal torrents for TV series in 2018 appears to be down one-third from the previous year.
Besides Game of Thrones, torrents for episodes of The Walking Dead and Arrow round out the top three TV shows most likely to contain viruses due to piracy.
So, before you decide to circumnavigate the paid — and legal — option for watching Game of Thrones, you might want to consider how much it could cost you if a hacker gains access to your computer and online presence.
The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones will begin on April 14. The synopsis for Season 8, or its subsequent episodes, has not yet been released. However, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, the length of time for each episode in the final series has recently been announced.