Malware is all over file-sharing reveals new report

one in three torrent malware identity theft
Chaliya Kongsrinang/123RF.com
Staying on top of the digital game isn’t always easy, especially if you only use your digital devices for communication or recreational purposes. “Beware of the virus” is stuck on repeat somewhere in the back of our heads while we’re surfing online. For those who log a pirate visit every once in a while, a report commissioned by Digital Citizens Alliance for RiskIQ put some of the online threats on display.

According to the report, users are 28 times more likely to contract malware from torrent sites than they are from mainstream websites or licensed content providers. The study used a sample of 800 sites that distribute copyrighted movies and television shows. One-third of websites with stolen content contained malware and a staggering 45 percent required but a single page-visit from you to cause the malware to download itself onto your computer.

Trojans comprised 54 percent of the total malware found, with 29 percent being adware, and with toolbars at 5 percent, and botnets at 3 percent. The rest were labeled as “other.”

Not everyone knows how malware distribution in the underground community works, but the report gives us a small glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes. Criminal organizations will contact different content theft sites, such as hosts of torrent files, and pay them to host their malware through advertisements. In a worst case scenario, you’ll find yourself the victim of ransomware. As its name implies, this malware takes control of your files and encrypts them. Unless you pay a ransom that usually lands somewhere between $100 to $500 you won’t have access to your files again. The FBI says that 18 million dollars was lost to ransomware in June of this year alone.

According to the Google Transparency Report, there were 4,865 sites with 1,000 or more copyright-infringing URL removal requests. Using these as a basis, RiskIQ has estimated that the pirate site owners have achieved a total annual revenue of $70 million from malware. But that’s hardly an impressive number when The Department of Justice claims that identity theft cost US consumers $25.7 billion in 2012. Malware, including all its various forms, made up $2.3 billion of that total.

Computing

Windows 10 has two critical vulnerabilities; update now to avoid infection

Microsoft recently alerted users that it patched two critical remote code execution (RCE) "wormable" vulnerabilities, which could have allowed hackers to spread malware to PCs. If you haven't updated Windows 10 yet, get on it.
Computing

How to convert DVD to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Mobile

How to root Android phones and tablets (and unroot them)

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Computing

The best free antivirus platforms for Mac in 2019

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

The best Chromebook deals available in August 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Deals

The 2018 Apple iPad Pro Wi-Fi tablet gets a huge $124 discount on Amazon

If you have been holding off on buying the Apple iPad Pro because of its price, now is the time. The best tablet for 2019 gets a $124 discount on Amazon today. This deal is more affordable than the one we previously found.
Computing

AMD Ryzen and Nvidia GTX join forces in HP Pavilion laptops and desktops

The HP Pavilion range has two new entries that are perfect for anyone looking for their first dedicated gaming system but don't have a fortune to spend. You even get AMD and Nvidia hardware in the same system.
Computing

Stuck in ELO hell? HP’s A.I. coach wants to help Omen owners become better gamers

HP has an exciting new update for its Omen Command Center software: A.I. coaching driven by machine learning. It uses the power of A.I. and analytics to figure out where you can best improve in your favorite game.
Computing

Visually stunning HP Omen X 27 HDR TN display closes color gap with IPS monitors

The HP Omen X 27 could prove to be the sweet spot for gamers everywhere. At a 1440p resolution, it's blazingly fast, with a 240Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. Better yet, its HDR support really helps colors pop.
Computing

Windows Core OS: Everything you need to know

Known as Windows Core OS, a new version of Windows will be a single universal operating system for all kinds of devices. It's expected to look very different, and here's what we know.
Computing

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for August 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

The best web browsers for 2019

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

You can download Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser in a few easy steps

Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser has been downloaded over 1 million times. In this guide, we'll explain how you can download and install the browser on your PC or Mac in just a few quick and simple steps.
Computing

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 vs. ThinkPad X1 Yoga

The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 are both well-built and equipped business 2-in-1s. Which is better comes down to their displays and battery life advantages.