ProPrivacy is reader supported and sometimes receives a commission when you make purchases using links on this site.

Winter is coming: Game of Thrones carries the highest risk of containing malware, ProPrivacy study finds


LIVERPOOL, England, September 26, 2018 

  • Data reveals that hackers are targeting popular TV shows in order to spread malicious software
  • Game of Thrones ranks as most dangerous TV show worldwide

Game of Thrones carries the highest risk of containing malware according to new data compiled by privacy advocate and leading antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab.

The research suggests that TV shows are becoming an increasingly popular target for hackers with torrenting and illicit streaming sites proving an effective delivery mechanism for malicious code. According to data compiled by Kaspersky's threat research team, Game of Thrones is the most popular target for malware. discovered that more that 170,000 infection attempts were detected under the guise of Game of Thrones over the past 12 months.

The Walking Dead series was also popular with around 100,000 infection attempts detected on nearly 20,000 computers around the world.

"Other TV shows, such as Stranger Things, WestWorld and Orange is the New Black are not as popular as Game of Thrones," noted Mariya Fedorova, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. "Nevertheless, they are being used in malware distribution schemes."

Most popular television shows for malware distribution 

NameTotal number of notificationsTotal Number of UserTotal Number of Infected Files
The Game of Thrones170,30549,97030,217
The Walking Dead100,06219,43714,854
Stranger Things1,241
Orange is The New Black3,3481,3341,202

"These are exciting times for television fans," commented Sean McGrath, editor of "Streaming services have shaken things up and we are living through a new golden age of TV programming. But our love of television and desire to get things instantly makes us easy targets for those who wish to do us harm. Malicious executable files can easily be bound to video files, which means all a user needs to do is start watching a video and their computer could be infected. That's why it's vital to run quality antivirus software, regardless of platform or operating system."

" always recommends using legitimate sources when watching TV content online," McGrath added. "VPNs can be used to unlock additional content from legitimate streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, providing users with excellent value for money." 

Notes for Editors have helped over 28 million users to access the internet when, where and how they wish. 

Kaspersky Lab 
Kaspersky Lab is a leading antivirus provider with a deep understanding of malicious software, having over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity. Kaspersky operates in 200 countries and has nearly 400 million global users. 


Written by: Sean McGrath

Sean McGrath is Editor of An experienced investigative journalist, writer and editor, he has worked for some of the world's best-known IT publications including the ComputerWeekly, PCPro, TechWeekEurope & InformationWeek. He regularly comments on industry matters for the likes of Forbes, Silicon, iTWire, Cyber Defense Magazine & Android Headlines.


There are no comments yet.

Write Your Own Comment

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

  Your comment has been sent to the queue. It will appear shortly.

We recommend you check out one of these alternatives:

The fastest VPN we test, unblocks everything, with amazing service all round

A large brand offering great value at a cheap price

One of the largest VPNs, voted best VPN by Reddit

One of the cheapest VPNs out there, but an incredibly good service