Digital media sharing is one of the most relevant phenomena since the advent of the internet. During the 80’s and 90’s, with the rapid growth the Internet, people around the world started sharing digital stuff protected by copyright, through particular communication protocols and programs such as FTP, IRC, etc.
At the time, only a few people had the capability to access to these illegal networks. Today the situation is quite different, it is very easy to share any kind of content through simplified file-sharing services making it easy to obtain copyrighted material and pirated copies of popular software.
Cybaze-Yoroi Z-Lab researchers conducted a study on the risks related to the use of the BitTorrent protocol to download movies, games or pirated software. The analysis shed the light on the risk faced by users while searching for movies, games, and software on popular BitTorrent trackers. The experts analyzed dozens of torrents and discovered that most of them are delivered in bundle with malware or Adware, exposing at risk of infection the average user with a few interactions.
In this analysis, researcher downloaded torrents belonging to 3 different categories of interest: Movies, Games and Software. They searched for 2 highly anticipated films : “The Avengers 4” and “Joker” for the “Movies” category, for the “Games” category they search for “Fortnite”, one of the most played videogame and, for the “Software” category they searched for some of the most requested software of this moment, “Nero Burning Rom”, “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom” and “Malwarebytes Premium”.
Experts discovered that most of the torrents contains well-known malware that are currently detected by most anti-viruses and, also, most of the malicious torrents have a good reputation in terms of seeders. In the BitTorrent terminology, seeders are …