Game of Thrones is one of the most popular television shows of all time and fans of the show are eagerly waiting the April 14th release on HBO of the first episode of the final season.  Of course anything popular with many people is also going to be popular with scammers who will, through illegal websites, be offering to provide pirated versions of the show to people unwilling to pay for HBO.  This is not just speculation.  Last year there were 9,986 different malware strains tied to Game of Thrones.  People thinking that they are downloading the video or software they are told they need to view the video end up instead downloading a wide variety of malware including ransomware and keystroke logging malware that can lead to identity theft.  There is a long history of pirated versions of popular movies and television shows being offered on illegal websites, such as Grokster which actually was the subject of a Supreme Court decision.  Some of these websites may even actually provide you with a pirated copy, but they all are illegal and they all carry the risk of providing malware.


The best thing you can do to avoid Game of Thrones connected malware or malware connected with other pirated versions of movies and television shows is merely to avoid those websites offering such pirated versions.  They are all illegal.  If you do go to illegal websites offering such pirated versions of Game of Thrones or other movies or television shows, you should first check the size of the file you will be downloading.  While malware can come in small files, an episode of Game of Thrones will not be smaller than several gigabytes.  Also make sure that you are using security software on whatever device you are using to view the video and make sure that your security software is updated with the latest security updates and patches, knowing however that the latest security software will not protect you from the latest zero day defect malware for which there is no known defense.  It usually takes around thirty days for the security software companies to develop defenses to the latest malware strains.  Again, however, the best way to avoid these problems is by doing the right thing and paying for your content.

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