Piracy Site Popcorn Time Targets Kids with New Version

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A notorious website for pirated content has released a new child-friendly version to filter inappropriate content for younger users.

Popcorn Time leaped to fame with a mission of making illegal content as easy to access as Netflix.

It was originally pulled back in 2014 and resurrected several times in the interim before making another recent comeback to capitalize on COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.

Part of these efforts appear to be a new child-friendly mode, which ensures kids aren’t able to access adult content or be served adult-themed advertising and pop-ups.

However, experts have warned that such sites represent a serious cybersecurity risk at home as they can carry malware disguised as pirated content. The risks are even greater now that employees are accessing corporate assets from the same home networks that may be being used to download such content.

Mark Mulready, vice-president of cyber services at Irdeto, argued that the European Commission should introduce streamlined processes for blocking and removing pirated content.

“Pirate websites and apps are often unsafe and carry dangerous malware and other unwanted traps that can damage your device. Furthermore, hackers can also use pirate websites and apps as a gateway into your home network, where they will attempt to steal everything from personal data to financial details,” he said.

“The last thing any of us want to be worrying about is a computer virus when there’s a very real virus out there to contend with, so I’d encourage everyone to think carefully about the types of content they access online.”

Popcorn Time is also the name of a ransomware variant discovered back in 2016, that claimed to offer victims the opportunity to access a decryption key if they could infect two other computer users.

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