The weaponization of legit video providers is on the rise.
The weaponization of legit video providers is on the rise.
Streaming video content from non-mainstream providers might make you an unwitting target of content piracy. If you get a bargain pricing offer, you risk becoming the victim of scammers and hackers, losing personal data, and having your financial assets stolen

You might be a target of piracy if you stream video from non-mainstream providers. You might not care if you get a bargain pricing offer. You stand a chance of being a victim of a scam, losing personal data, and having your financial assets stolen. That is a huge financial loss for consumers and legitimate creative content providers.

The first sign that you are dealing with an illegitimate media operation is paying a low-balled sign-up fee. Bad actors can easily steal legitimate creative content to make a lot of money. Content operators use mobile apps against them to steal.


Asaf Ashkenazi, CEO at Verimatrix, warns that this process can hurt businesses' profits and lead to fewer legit subscribers.

The video content space is seeing widespread digital piracy. Its weaponization is harmful to legitimate retailers and advertisers and a growing threat to Hollywood and other sectors.

It is difficult to quantify the extent of piracy. Ashkenazi told TechNewsWorld that it is much wider than people think.

Video piracy is mitigated.

Verimatrix is a California-based company that tracks application streams and website traffic. Its twofold mission is to protect enterprise applications in mobile phones and provide anti-piracy services to businesses.

Ashkenazi shared that the new approach to video piracy comes from unexpected discoveries of digital traffic patterns.

The company monitors what hackers do online with developed tools that can identify patterns that indicate an attack is imminent so it can be prevented.

The automotive firms, banks, and enterprises are protected from data loss through their apps. Ashkenazi noted that the client base is around 300.

The Insider's View.

The CEO of the cyber firm talked about a philosophy that was unique for a digital sleuth. He believes that you can't completely prevent digital content from being leaked.

Verimatrix developed technology services that disrupt the business model of the pirates. The goal is to take down a service quickly. They try to get the intrusion from the video delivery pipelines.

The pirates will not make enough money if we make it more difficult for them to grab subscribers data. They don't go after our customers after that.

Suppose the cyber defenses can cut out the illegal delivery network connections after 10 minutes. The illegitimate pirate users will not be able to watch the sporting event that they paid for.

The pirate streaming service no longer gets all of the ad revenue and continued subscription payments. He said that this would put them out of business.

From file sharing to theft.

Ashkenazi thinks the evolution of digital piracy is interesting. The perpetrators moved file-sharing exploits to advanced new technologies and learned how to become modern-day content pirates.

They are the same as any other thieves. He said how the digital criminals evolved with technology was really fascinating.

In the past, it was done by more organized enterprises. There was a lot of file sharing. The Pirate Bay was the focus of most of it, as it involved people sharing content with their peers.

Ashkenazi said that when people used the file-sharing network, they knew they were doing something illegal. People who subscribe to illegal video streaming networks don't know they are doing something wrong.

When we moved to streaming, pirates became more organized and provided services. He said that the services are more and more looking like legitimate services that provide better user experience than what the legitimate providers are providing.

The pirates are getting their content from different sources. They have a one-stop video shop. He said that it is becoming a very lucrative business.

Hacked video delivery can be monetized.

How do they make money? They make money by maximizing two or all three approaches in the same event.

The first method is easy to understand. The business looks legit. The scam has a lower subscription price than lawful streaming services. The thieves don't have to pay a source for the content in order to make a profit.

Video pirates now have access to high-tech equipment to distribute their content. Ashkenazi said that in the beginning, they were stealing the content.

They can now use legitimate suppliers to inject their content and stream it for free. The honest services use a delivery system that is pirating.

Creative content providers use a content delivery network to speed up webpage loading. The distributor pays the full cost of preparing the content. The pirates don't have to change the video feeds into their own channels.

The legit service provider is paying 20% of its costs for streaming the content to the pirates. Ashkenazi said it was difficult to know the exact amount.

The service providers can't determine a legitimate paying user from a hijacked video stream. The users don't know they are using a pirate service.

There are two more schemes.

The second method is monetized by subscribers having to install apps. They give the pirate operators permission to grab their data.

The data is sold by the pirates to third parties. Criminals use the stolen user information to commit ID thefts and commit fraudulent credit card purchases.

Video content pirates can make money by selling their own commercials and other ads to legitimate retailers and businesses who do not know the deceptive company's background.

Hide and flee.

Sports streaming is one of the reasons for the growth in piracy of video. Some providers will lure users in for a short time and then disappear.

Operators make maximum cash flow. They can shut down suddenly and restart with a new URL. Businesses have little recourse when their scam goes undetected by users.

There have been increases in two types of pirate services. The infrastructure that can be identified and tracked by law enforcement is missing from these operations.

The websites look legit. Money collection processes are difficult to backtrack and appear legitimate.

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