Hundreds of stolen login details for popular OTT services are available every month on the dark web for an average of only $8.81, according to research from digital platform security firm Irdeto.
Dark web marketplaces offer credentials for a range of pay TV and VOD OTT services, meaning legitimate subscribers could have had their accounts compromised and used illegally for a small one-off fee, according to Irdeto. Consumers should be vigilant of any unusual or unfamiliar activity on their account, changing their password regularly, according the company.
“Content theft by pirates has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, with some providing illegal subscriptions in an attempt to compete with established pay TV operators,” said Mark Mulready, VP, Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto, in a statement. “Content owners, rights holders, technology and security partners and law enforcement agencies are working hard to combat the threat of piracy. However, consumers must also be vigilant to avoid the risks they may be subject to from illegal content.
“Consumers must think about where they access their content from and ensure that any streaming or downloading is done from legitimate sources. They must also remember that if they use the same password for their OTT services as they do for a number of other online accounts, they could also be opening themselves up to a wider array of exploitative threats.”
The Irdeto Global Consumer Piracy Threat Report looks at pay TV credential availability on the dark web, global piracy hotspots and the market in illicit streaming devices. Other key findings from the report include:
- In one month (April 2018), Irdeto discovered 854 listings of OTT credentials from 69 unique sellers across more than 15 dark web marketplaces. These credentials were from 42 different OTT services including Netflix, HBO, DirecTV and Hulu.
- Irdeto’s web analytics partner found an average of 74 million global visits per month to the top 10 live streaming sites in Q1 2018. Most traffic came from the United States (2.9 million average monthly visits), the UK (1.7 million average monthly visits) and Germany (1.5 million average monthly visits).
- Pirates are using popular ecommerce sites to advertise illicit streaming devices, which are often advertised around major sporting events.