Check Point security group has released information revealing how hackers are now using online video subtitles as a source to transport viruses into personal computers, granting hackers to endless information for very little work.
This method of hacking requires a user to do nothing other than opening up their favorite videos online. According to a recent article, this is not even potential danger but is the real thing because it’s already being used successfully by the hackers.
Hackers are very knowledgeable and creative which is why most seem to be one step behind them in most cases. A few years ago people were panicking because of pop-ups, surveys, or phishing links. Now hackers are able to encrypt information by using techniques that can bypass many security products and it is more destructive than anything seen before.
This drastic increase in hackers using the technique of online video subtitles as a source to transport viruses is no surprise. Check Point stated they “estimate there are approximately 200 million video players and streamers” and online video streams have a massive audience making these defenseless targets very beneficial investments. Using this technique, these hackers are able to take complete control of a computer with minimal effort.
Big streaming sites such as VLC, Stremio, Popcorn Time, and others are assisting users in defense by providing updated patches for blocking viruses. Unfortunately downloading these patches is the only defense (other than completely avoiding online videos) and as we saw recently with the #WannaCry ransomware outbreak, counting on people to keep their systems patched seems to be too much to ask. Hopefully, that will begin to change.
Seth Tuma is a student at Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara, California.