Accessing pirated television, film and sports content is inherently risky. According to a report by Digital Citizens Alliance, nearly half of people who have a pirated content streaming device in their home, report malware attacks.
This is no surprise, because when you purchase a pre-loaded streaming device or download illicit streaming apps to a jailbroken device, you put a target on your back.
We protect our networks by maintaining a firewall, regularly updating operating systems and choosing a variety of strong passwords.
But many of our precautions and protections are undermined when we bring a device that streams pirated content into our home. Because our network’s security is only as strong as its weakest link, and piracy devices are weak indeed.
Vulnerable to Hackers
Devices that stream pirated content are vulnerable to hackers.
The most vulnerable are the pre-loaded (with illicit streaming apps) devices that also come pre-loaded with malware. But even if your device doesn’t arrive infected, steps you take to prepare your device for pirated content streaming compromise security.
To use these streaming devices, you are often expressly asked to disable standard security protections (if the device has security at all). This is always a bad idea.
Also, to use the apps that run on the device, you often have to grant the app administrator permissions. With permissions, developers can access the device’s memory, location and other sensitive data.
And while administrator permissions may be necessary for some apps to operate properly, you should grant them only to reputable developers, not to sketchy characters who develop illicit apps.
Most streaming devices are built to be used legitimately. They’re designed to download reputable apps that stream only licensed content. And their security is designed accordingly.
When you hack a device to accept illicit apps, you necessarily sacrifice security. And when you then access pirated content, you invite in anything sent along with it.