Game of Thrones season 8 has begun at last, with episode 1 of the final season of the HBO epic airing in the UK overnight.
Sky Atlantic are simulcasting Game of Thrones season 8 so fans in Blighty get to watch it at the exact same moment as our US counterparts.
For those who missed the 2am showing in the UK they can watch it on demand on NOW TV right now, plus it will also air once again on Sky Atlantic at 9pm this evening.
Anticipation is high for Game of Thrones season 8 which will finish off the story of the Westeros epic that began on TV all the way back in 2011.
Since then Game of Thrones has regularly been the most pirated show around, with a number of fans turning to illegal streams and torrent downloads.
But as fans gear up to find out what Game of Thrones season 8 has in store they’ve been given a warning about the dangers of piracy.
Game of Thrones fans have been warned they risk downloading a “nasty virus or malware” when they stream or download illegal copies of GoT.
Speaking to The Independent, AT&T CyberSecurity’s Javvad Malik said: “These risks from illegally streaming or downloading Game of Thrones are the same as downloading any other illegal file – it could contain anything malicious.”
The security advocate added: “So, while it may appear to be the latest Game of Thrones episode, it could actually be a host of a nasty virus or malware that plants malicious files on your device in the background.
“These could later be used by hackers to steal personal information and banking details if they go undetected by AV or anti-malware software.”
While Jake Moore, a security expert at ESET, added: “The potential for malware is staggering, and people who are inclined to torrent irresistible content will have to make sure they are sufficiently protected.
“If not, they risk becoming victims of cyber criminals who could mine personal data, such as credit card details, addresses, and shopping habits – all of which could then be sold on the dark web.”
The news comes after a study by BestVPN.com and Kaspersky Lab in 2018 revealed pirated GoT episodes carry the highest risk of containing malware.
Mariya Fedorova, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said: “Other TV shows, such as Stranger Things, WestWorld and Orange is the New Black are not as popular as Game of Thrones.
“Nevertheless, they are being used in malware distribution schemes.”
While Sean McGrath, editor of BestVPN.com, said: “These are exciting times for television fans.
“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.”
• Stay tuned to Express.co.uk for more Game of Thrones and piracy news
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