1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Jailbroken, malware-infested pirate streaming devices are being sold on eBay, Craigslist,...

By Polycount ยท 5 replies
Apr 29, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. When something seems too good to be true, it usually is - in today's day and age, there's rarely such a thing as a free lunch. Even services that operate without an apparent catch, such as Google itself, gather data about you and your browsing habits over time.

    However, as much as privacy-minded individuals may dislike Google's version of "free," it's probably still preferable to the much more sinister tactics some pirated content providers employ. As reported by Sophos, the Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) -- an internet safety organization -- has found that many pirate-friendly, 'jailbroken' streaming devices are infested with malware.

    These devices can apparently be snagged via eBay, Craigslist, or the "Dark Web" for between $75 and $100. Functionally speaking, they are identical or nearly-identical to many popular streaming devices on the market, such as Amazon's Fire TV Stick. The difference is, all the content contained within is completely free to watch. Shows, movies, and sports events are all on offer, sometimes before they even release to the (paying) general public.

    Unfortunately, as we mentioned before, there's a pretty significant catch here. Malware was either present in the devices' pre-installed apps or snuck in later when researchers downloaded additional content.

    Apparently, the malware in question performed illegal actions such as forwarding wi-fi network names and passwords to unknown third-parties and uploading "1.5 terabytes" of data to an attackers' servers without authorization. Some clever hackers even created fake versions of Netflix that can hijack user account details when accessed.

    These attackers are not few in number, either - some of the researchers working on this report "infiltrated" various dark web chatrooms, and found lively discussions between many hackers who were discussing how to exploit those who use these compromised devices.

    So, what's the solution here? Obviously, consumers should avoid buying allegedly jailbroken streaming devices from less-reputable sources. However, as Sophos notes, tackling this issue on a larger scale will require intervention from the likes of eBay and Craigslist - the sites will need to ban or otherwise restrict the sale of these devices to protect their users.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Bullwinkle M

    Bullwinkle M TS Booster Posts: 125   +65

    "So, what's the solution here? Obviously, consumers should avoid buying allegedly jailbroken streaming devices from less-reputable sources."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    That's great advice!
    So where are the more-reputable sources of allegedly jailbroken streaming devices?
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,269   +3,682

    And this comes as a surprise to whom? You deal with questionable people you will no doubt get questionable results! No surprise there ......
     
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,903   +3,351

    This whole thing wouldn't be an issue if getting access to the content legally wasn't such a pain. So many online services and many of them don't allow offline downloads. Content is so fractured between services and you never know when something is going to be dropped due to ridiculous reoccurring licensing fees per year per region of the world.
     
    rrwards likes this.
  5. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,510   +1,511

    The answer, of course, is to jailbreak yourself... it's not very difficult, and this way, you know what's being installed on your device!

    For myself, I prefer watching everything from my PC - and simply downloading any content I want to watch ahead of time.
     
  6. rrwards

    rrwards TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +56

    Yep, nowadays you're pretty much forced into this corner. A buddy of mine wanted to rewatch John Wick 1 and 2 in anticipation of the 3rd. No problem man, I watched them on Netflix. Oh... Well Netflix doesn't offer them anymore. They're only available for renting somewhere else. I'd rather not spend the cost of Netflix to watch 2 movies that used to be included.
     
    Evernessince likes this.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...