Thursday, July 27, 2017

State Attorney Generals Warn About Piracy Sites

The Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) has launched a campaign with the help of 15 state Attorney Generals to warn consumers about the risk of malware on piracy websites. According to a Variety article, many websites bait consumers with stolen videos or music and then steal the consumers’ identifications and financial information.
The state Attorney Generals participating in the campaign are:
IN: Curtis Hill
AZ: Marc Brnovich
KY: Andy Bashear
DC: Karl Racine
KS: Derek Schmidt
MT: Tim Fox
OR: Ellen Rosenblum
CT: George Jepsen
SD: Marty Jackley
LA: Jeff Landry
ND: Wayne Stenehjem
WI: Brad Schimel
ID: Lawrence Wasden
NC: Josh Stein
HI: Doug Chin
A 2016 study by RiskIQ found that one out of three piracy websites exposes consumers to dangerous malware. Moreover, 45% of malware from piracy websites is delivered through so-called “drive-by downloads,” meaning malware invisibly downloads to the consumer’s computer without requiring the consumer to click on a link. RiskIQ estimated that piracy websites were making about $70 million a year from allowing malware to be placed on their sites. When consumers expose themselves to this type of vulnerability, hackers are able to steal personal information, steal bank and credit card data, and even lock a consumer’s computer and demand a ransom fee.
It is important that DCA and a group of state Attorney Generals are now speaking out to warn consumers of this dangerous criminal activity. The best way to reduce piracy is to stop the cash flow. Educating consumers about the risks they assume should make them think twice before visiting a piracy website, ultimately slowing the growth of online piracy.
Online piracy is a major problem in the United States and abroad, but voluntary campaigns can help minimize piracy by informing consumers about the risks to them and the harm suffered by artists and entrepreneurs from theft of intellectual property.