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    Archive for July 8th, 2013




    Summer movies are highly anticipated by the moviegoers, because Hollywood traditionally releases its biggest blockbusters during this season. Fraudsters are relentless in creating fake streaming sites, not just on the screening date of these movies, but also before the release of movies in theaters.

    The next two charts show which movies are most popular with attackers, as well as where these fake sites are hosted.

    Commonly used summer movie titles-01
    Figure 1. Commonly used summer movie titles

    Popular hosts for fake streaming sites-01
    Figure 2. Popular hosts for fake streaming sites

    How do these scams work? Cybercriminals want to lead users to download video players or sign up for streaming sites via affiliate links. Alternately, they may want to lead users to more traditional survey scams.

    infectionchain-streamingsite-diagram
    Figure 3. Fake streaming sites infection chain

    The attackers use various social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Youtube, LinkedIn, and many others to drive users to the fake streaming pages.  These are hosted on blogging services like Tumblr, WordPress, and Blogger.

    Most pages on these blogs have shortened URLs that lead to the final sites we talked about earlier. Because they used the services of URL shorteners, we were able to view the number of visits per selected movie. It appears that Man of Steel, Fast and the Furious 6 and Iron Man 3 got the highest number of viewers. This data is for a two-month period from late April up to the end of June.

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