Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Warning to ‘dodgy’ firestick users as lawyers reveals how you open door to hackers and fraudsters | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


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In a stark warning to owners of ‘dodgy’ Amazon firesticks, experts have revealed how the devices can become vulnerable to cyber attacks – and personal information can be harvested by hackers. 

It comes as sports fans who ‘jailbreak’ an Amazon firestick to illegally stream Premiership football matches or pay-per-view movies could lose their homes if sued for copyright theft.

A number of fraudsters online – notably Facebook – claim to offer firestick logon details with ‘unlimited live channels’ for as little as £40, compared with around £100 a month if someone wants Sky and TNT sports channels along with movies.

However, streaming such services without paying a licensing fee leaves homeowners open to possible prosecution, including action in the criminal and High Courts resulting in potential six figure fines or jail sentences. 

Additionally, according to legal experts on Fact UK, the unauthorised devices not only flout copyright laws – but also pose a significant risk of opening the door to hackers and fraudsters, leaving unsuspecting users vulnerable to cyber threats.

In a stark warning to owners of illegal Amazon firesticks, experts have revealed how the devices can become vulnerable to cyber attacks - and personal information can be harvested by hackers (stock image)

In a stark warning to owners of illegal Amazon firesticks, experts have revealed how the devices can become vulnerable to cyber attacks – and personal information can be harvested by hackers (stock image)

Illegal firesticks often come preloaded with malware and backdoor exploits, leaving users vulnerable to hacking attempts and identity theft.

One expert warned: ‘Engaging with illicit streaming platforms exposes users to the risk of downloading malware, viruses, and other harmful software.’

‘Unsuspecting viewers may unknowingly download malicious files while accessing content through illegal IPTV services.

‘Such infections can severely damage their devices and compromise online security.’

Intellectual property lawyer Samuel O’Toole told MailOnline that as well as the legal jeopardy illegal streamers face, they also welcome an organised crime gang into their home via the device. 

He said: ‘A good analogy is that you are inviting a fox into the hen house. Your computers and tablets contain sensitive data.’

O’Toole added: ‘You might use them for online banking or shopping.’ 

Another industry expert told MailOnline: ‘Unauthorised IPTV services often operate without proper security measures, exposing users to serious data breaches and cyberattacks.

Illegal firesticks often come preloaded with malware and backdoor exploits, leaving users vulnerable to hacking attempts and identity theft

Illegal firesticks often come preloaded with malware and backdoor exploits, leaving users vulnerable to hacking attempts and identity theft

Illegal firesticks often come preloaded with malware and backdoor exploits, leaving users vulnerable to hacking attempts and identity theft

‘Personal information, including credit card details, can be harvested by these rogue platforms, making users vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. The data collected may be sold on the dark web, putting individuals’ privacy at risk.’

On a practical level, users are warned that the quality of stream is also likely to be suboptimal, with ‘constant buffering issues and frequent service interruptions.’

Criminals can access your home computer network through the ‘dodgy’ devices, and the lawyer added that such gangs cannot be trusted with your data.

Some gangs who run streaming services will deliberately infect rivals’ platforms with malware to discourage users and hope they land on their own offering. 

As the debate surrounding the use of ‘dodgy’ Amazon firesticks rages on, one thing remains clear: the risks of piracy and fraud are too great to ignore. 

Elsewhere, in May 2023, a gang of five men running a £7m illegal streaming network were jailed for more than 30 years after their operation was busted.

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