Just the other day, I was discussing why we shouldn’t be downloading torrents at all. Now a research has all but confirmed that torrent websites are top malware vectors.
All the torrent downloaders, you need to pay attention to this. A research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University has found that spending more time on pirate websites can potentially increase the risk of running into malware.
This research was conducted over a span of 12 months by Professor Rahul Telang at CMU, who observed the browsing habits of over 250 participants in the Security Behavior Observatory.
Telang writes in his research paper: “In particular doubling the amount of time spent on infringing sites cause a 20 percent increase in malware count”.
Whereas other categories of websites such as social networks, shopping, gaming, gambling or even adult sites did not exhibit the same effect.
“Even after we classify malware files into adware and remove them from analysis, our results still suggest that there is a 20 percent increase in malware count due to visits to infringing sites.”
Another intriguing thing that the research found out was that most torrent downloaders don’t have any anti-virus software installed on their computers leaving them open for infections.
The research concludes by saying that although there is no concrete evidence of malware spreading predominantly through pirate sites, the average number of malware files found on a pirate’s machine is 1.5, compared to 1.4 for users who never visit any pirate website.
As users continue to download content for free and illegally, these risks involved could doubtfully prevent the die-hard fans of pirate sites from using it.