Recently, a study carried out by a team of researchers has found a link between piracy and malware websites. According to its data, the more time a user spends on sites that offer illegal downloading, the more the risk of the computer becoming infected by viruses increases.
WARNING! Your Visit To Pirate Sites Exposes You To More Malware
A study carried out by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (United States) has found a link between piracy and malware websites. According to its data, the more time a user spends on sites that offer illegal downloading, the more the risk of the computer becoming infected by viruses increases.
In the document that gathers the investigation, the researchers explain that, in addition to the destruction that piracy supposes for the authors of the contents, another one of the negative aspects of this practice consists of the propagation of malicious software. This is due to the fact that the revenues of the piracy pages come from advertising, which in many cases can bring malware, adware and other questionable tracking programs.
To carry out the study, the team has worked with a data panel of more than 250 users of the Observatory of Safety Behavior, which has been followed by surfing the Internet for a year. The researchers, led by Professor Rahul Telang, emphasize that one of the key aspects of their work is that the participants are observed in a discreet way by means of background sensors so that they can guarantee that the navigation data obtained are real and impartial.
After analyzing the information collected from users, the team detected that doubling the amount of time spent navigating a pirated website means an increase of 20% in the chances of the computer becoming infected by malware. These results were only observed with the piracy pages and not with those of other categories, which included games of luck, online games, social networks, adult sites and banks.
The study concludes that the average number of malicious files found on a user’s computer that visits illegal download pages is 1.5, compared to 1.4 in the case of people who never access these types of websites. Therefore, although access to pirated portals is not the main source of malware infection, it is a risk compared to other types of pages.
On the other hand, a surprising discovery of the study is that many of the users did not take precautions to protect their equipment. “We found no evidence that users who visit infringing sites are more likely to install antivirus software,” the researchers said in the document.
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