News piracy_threat_2018

Published on August 14th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Stolen streaming service login demand growing on dark web, new report shows

Once a haven for stolen credit cards and social security numbers, misappropriated logins for popular subscription streaming services are now finding their way for sale on the dark web for as little as $8.80, a new reported release Monday indicates.

The report from cybersecurity service company Irdeto showed more than 850 private and valid credentials for streaming services including HBO, Netflix, Hulu and DirecTV available in April of this year for sale across more than 15 dark web marketplaces. In total, there were credentials for sale from 42 different services from 69 unique sellers, the company said. 

Some vendors were also selling bundles of credentials at a higher price, providing more value for the money, the company said.

“With increasing broadband availability and internet speed globally, the pirates have adapted,” the report’s author wrote. “As a result, (streaming service) piracy, or content redistribution, is the most rapidly growing threat facing pay-TV operators and content rights holders.”

The Irdeto Global Consumer Piracy Threat Report found that via dark web marketplaces, a variety of products, accounts, and services can be bought and that pirates were also found to be using popular e-commerce sites to advertise the sales of logins.

The disturbing finding show that as the popularity of streaming services and the proliferation of high-speed broadband services grows, the risk to consumer data and the potential impact on revenue of these services could be at jeopardy.

“Content theft by pirates has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, with some providing illegal subscriptions in an attempt to compete with established pay-TV operators,” said Mark Mulready, vice president of cybersecurity services at Irdeto.

Irdeto identified 180 advertisements to buy pirated logins for a recent professional boxing match, including listings on eBay and Gumtree. So far in 2018, Irdeto said it worked to take down almost 7,000 adverts for the illegal sale of logins across 60 domains.

Irdeto’s web analytics partner found an average of 74 million total global visits per month, and an average of 21 million unique visits, to the top ten live streaming sites in the first quarter of this year. Most traffic came from the US with 2.934 million average monthly unique visits. Next was the UK  at 1.7 million, and Germany at 1.5 million.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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