Hundreds of stolen login details for popular OTT services are available every month on the dark web for an average of only US$8.81, potentially putting consumers at risk and impacting OTT revenues, according to new research by Irdeto. Via dark web marketplaces, a variety of products, accounts and services can be bought, including account credentials for a range of pay TV and Video on Demand (VOD) OTT services. This means that legitimate subscribers could have had their accounts compromised and used illegally for a small one-off fee. Consumers should therefore be vigilant of any unusual or unfamiliar activity on their account, changing their password regularly.
The Irdeto Global Consumer Piracy Threat Report looks at pay TV credential availability on the dark web, global piracy hotspots and the market in illicit streaming devices (ISD’s). The report provides advice for content owners and rights holders and analyses the threat to consumers, outlining how they can be vigilant and avoid the risks of digital piracy. Additional key findings from the report include:
- Widespread availability of stolen OTT credentials – In one month (April 2018), Irdeto discovered 854 listings of OTT credentials from 69 unique sellers across more than 15 dark web marketplaces. These credentials were from 42 different OTT services including Netflix, HBO, DirecTV and Hulu.
- Live streaming piracy is a global problem – Irdeto’s web analytics partner found an average of 74 million total global visits per month (and an average of 21 million unique visits) to the top ten live streaming sites in Q1 2018. Most traffic came from the US (2 934 000 average monthly unique visits), the UK (1 714 000 average monthly unique visits) and Germany (1 519 000 average monthly unique visits)
- Ads for “fully-loaded” boxes continue to spring up – Pirates are using popular ecommerce sites to advertise ISD’s, which are often advertised around major sporting events. For example, Irdeto identified 180 advertisements for ISD’s offering Joshua vs. Parker on e-commerce websites, including eBay and Gumtree in just one day in the week leading up to the fight. So far in 2018, Irdeto has worked to take down almost 7 000 adverts for ISDs across 60 domains.
“Content theft by pirates has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, with some providing illegal subscriptions in an attempt to compete with established pay TV operators. Content owners, rights holders, technology and security partners and law enforcement agencies are working hard to combat the threat of piracy. However, consumers must also be vigilant to avoid the risks they may be subject to from illegal content,” said Mark Mulready, vice president – Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto.
“Consumers must think about where they access their content from and ensure that any streaming or downloading is done from legitimate sources. They must also remember that if they use the same password for their OTT services as they do for a number of other online accounts, they could also be opening themselves up to a wider array of exploitative threats.”