The US movie industry is the largest in the world. Illegal copies of content are costing this industry billions in US dollars each year. Despite all the crackdown efforts on piracy, the scene is bigger than ever.
The Affect of Piracy on the Movie Industry
Every single year, pirated content gets over 150 billion views. This number is only across the United States. This is just the number we know. Countless of offenders continue to operate under the radar of law enforcement.
Illegal file sharing is normally done using torrent sites. Most normal file sharing sites are quick to take action against such content. Torrents are peer to peer making it hard for law enforcement to take down.
Torrent websites are usually accessed by people looking for pirated content. Most paid digital goods can be found on such sites. Movies, software, video games and even music can all be torrented.
In recent times, the dark web started playing a larger role in the piracy scene. Currently, all types of illegal movies and pirated apps can be found or free bought for cheap on the dark-net. Millions of illicit files are uploaded and accessed by dark-net users on a daily basis.
Dr. Brandon Bang, a criminal justice expert spoke to Amarillo News. He stated that the circumstances surrounding the piracy scene have led to unemployment. The loss of revenue has affected the economy on different spectrum.
Dr. Brandon highlighted the role of torrent sites in enabling illegal content distribution. The criminal justice expert shows an example of how such sites affect the industry. He went on to talk about the shutdown of the torrent site MegaUpload. That even was big enough to cause a small spike in revenue for the movie industry.
Dr. Bang also mentioned the dark-net. He said that the hidden network plays a minimal part in the entire chain. He then mentioned how most of the illegal content can still be found on the clear-net. Millions of users can possess illegal content with the snap of their fingers.
Despite that, the dark-net seems more attractive for people seeking to pirate content. The fact that users are able to hide their IP address makes it a much safer option. This allows users to operate under the scope of law enforcement.
Pirated Content on the Dark-Net
A report published by Digital Citizen in 2019 covers some interesting details. The report found a strong correlation between dark-net hosted movies and identity theft. The article goes on to mention how piracy streaming devices are used to spread malware.
The dark-net's streaming piracy sector makes some profits. This is achieved through the theft, trade and weaponization of pirated content. Considering the fact that many people are not whiling to pay for a robust ecosystem, it's easy to fall into traps. People thinking they are downloading a free or cheap movie end up getting malware all of the time. That malware is then used to harvest information or as a ransom to get money when possible.
It is typical for unknown targets to install a piracy app onto their system. Mobdro, FreeNetflix, Exodus or Krypto are the most common. The app then circumvents any existing firewall that is used as the first line of defense against the network. As soon as the piracy app is launched it will run an automatic update installing the malware. Some apps go as far as affecting the network and accessing other devices.
According to the article published by Digital Citizens, this is the method criminals use to monetize the piracy scene. Information gathered from people can then be sold on the dark-net or used in other ways to profit.
Other ways cyber-criminals make profit is with apps like FreeNetflix. Free Netflix uses other peoples stolen Netflix accounts. Users looking to use the app have to pay a $10 yearly subscription. $10 might not seem like a lot but considering the app steals more information from you it is more than enough for the criminals.