Delhi Crime, Mardaani 2, Brooklyn Nine-Nine among riskiest web searches, warns McAfee

Hackers and malware-creators are targeting users searching for illegal streams

malware-nuclear-reuters-resize Representational image | Reuters

Social engineering is a key component of a successful hacking attempt, something that the popular show Mr Robot made all-too-clear. Modern hackers know this all too well given the landscape of internet use in India and have been targeting users who search for ways to watch popular TV shows and films like Delhi Crime, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Mardaani 2 or Narcos for free online.

Researchers at antivirus provider and cybersecurity firm McAfee have identified the top ten riskiest web searches for entertainment titles in India. They did so by identifying the most popular films and TV shows that Indian users search for ways to watch for free online, only to get led to malicious sites that can lead them to download malware.

“The lockdown induced surge in online entertainment traffic has brewed the perfect storm for cybercriminals,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India, as reported by NDTV Gadgets.

“They are following and targeting consumers' obsession with accessing content—particularly for free. They entice users to visit potentially malicious websites, designed to install malware or steal passwords and personal information,” he added.

The top 10 television shows being searched for that have a high risk of leading users to malicious sites include Delhi Crime, Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, Panchayat, Akoori, Fauda, Ghoul, Mindhunter, Narcos, Devlok and Lost. For movies, the list includes Mardaani 2, Zootopia, Jawaani Jaaneman, Chapaak, Love Aaj Kal, Inception, Bahubali, Rajnigandha, Gully Boy and Bala.

The McAfee team analysed search results for illegal streams of these titles, including search terms such as ‘torrent’ and ‘free download’.

The bottom line recommendations is to refrain from accessing illegal streams, and instead find legal ways of accessing these shows, such as through platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sony Liv, and the like.