DCA: 13% of US consumers use pirate apps, half of those get malware

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The Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) published results of a May 2020 survey of 1,512 US homes.  The survey found that 13 percent of respondents use devices or media center apps to watch pirated movies and television shows. Of those, 49 percent said they experienced malware in the past year; and about 1/4 in the past three months.

DCA cited multiple independent studies to stress that increased dependency on the internet during the coronavirus pandemic for work-at-home, online shopping and entertainment has further increased the likelihood that consumers will be struck with malware.  Quoting a study by VMWare, it said that ransomware attacks increased by 148% between March and April (mostly to the financial sector, not media & entertainment).

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Why this matters

This is further reinforcement for some known situations: that coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic, Internet use is up; and that pirate devices and apps provide avenues for malware attacks.

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