Ireland-based Webroot looked at twenty illegal free-to-view football sites in April 2021 which carried a cup game between two English football clubs – and found that 92% of them also carried “some form of malicious content.”
While many of them had a ‘trusted’ reputation score using an analytics platform, most of those were also found to have histories of aggregating hundreds of illegal streams and of hosting malware, upon further inspection.
Indicators that raised suspicions included low site security (HTTP instead of HTTPS), dishonest links to malicious advertising, and high levels of site redirects.
Risks discovered included:
- Links to Bitcoin scams, fraudulently associated with famous people
- Hijacked search results leading to fraudulent streams
- Browser hijacking to force fraudulent notifications
- Fraudulent notifications of malware, which lead to malware downloads
Why it matters
Sports programming is among the most attractive content genres to consumers, and therefore, fertile ground to trick consumers into falling into online scams.
Webroot and its parent company Carbonite are companies of OpenText, which provides Enterprise Information Management solutions.
[ Note: Piracy Monitor had no relationship with Webroot at the time this article was posted ]