Piracy does not only concern films and series. Indeed, there are also illegal streaming sites that provide access to live sports. And with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar approaching, illegal platforms are preparing for an influx of users.
While the media mainly talk about the controversy surrounding the organization of this World Cup, the pirates have been preparing for a while. And moreover, for the rights holders, the war has already started for a while.
For example, according to the TorrentFreak site, Canadian rights holders would have anticipated the illegal broadcasting of World Cup matches on two streaming platforms (only their IP addresses would be known).
These platforms, which are then relayed by websites and link aggregators, have already illegally broadcast American football league matches. And Canadian rights holders expect them to broadcast the World Cup in Qatar.
“The defendants are unauthorized streaming server operators providing unauthorized access in Canada to the plaintiffs’ stations that will broadcast live FIFA World Cup matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022”we would read in a complaint filed by these rights holders.
According to TorrentFreak, the rights holders would claim damages, as well as an injunction. More specifically, they would like the incriminated operators to stop “providing access to unauthorized streaming servers providing or facilitating access to live streams of FIFA World Cup matches live in Canada.”
It is not certain that this injunction, if obtained, will be enough to stop the pirating activity. But in any case, it shows how much official World Cup broadcasters are anticipating the influx of users to illegal streaming sites (as with any major sporting event).
Why You Should Avoid These Questionable Sites
Apart from the fact that piracy is illegal, going to dubious streaming sites also exposes you to cybersecurity risks. Like most other websites you visit, these are usually monetized with advertisements.
But when it comes to pirate sites, the ads you are bombarded with are sometimes gateways used to inject malware into your smartphone or computer. This was recently highlighted by a study carried out by the American NGO Digital Citizens Alliance, with White Bullet and Unit 221B.
Malicious ads make up an estimated 12% of ads displayed on pirate sites. And that allows these sites to generate $121 million a year.
80% of these illegal sites broadcast malicious ads. And if not all ads carry malware, you would still have a 1 in 6 chance of encountering a malicious ad while visiting these sites.