Why pirated pages can infect your computer

Are pirated pages dangerous?

We can say that a pirate page is a website where some type of illegal content. For example, it could be a page to download paid programs that have been cracked. Also sites where you can watch movies or series without having to pay, illegally.

Sometimes we can access pirated pages without being aware of it. For example, if we are browsing looking for a program to edit photos or videos and suddenly we come to a site where we can download an application that is paid, but has actually been hacked. Our intention is simply to have a free editing program, but inadvertently we end up on a page of illegal content.

This is something that can happen to many users in their day to day. This especially happens to those more inexperienced, who suddenly find themselves in front of a website loaded with links that are malicious, click on one of them and quickly the computer ends up infected. And yes, we can say that pirated pages are an obvious security danger.

How malware could sneak in with pirate sites

Through a pirate page they could infect our computers. They can carry out different strategies, as we will see. The goal will always be to cause the device to malfunction and steal data or passwords.

Links to malicious pages

One of the reasons why a pirate website can infect our computers is because of possible links to other sites malicious. This means that a specific page that we have reached does not necessarily have to be dangerous by itself, but could contain links to other sites that are.

This is very common on fake pages, with illegal content for downloads or to watch series and movies. They use these programs or audiovisual content as bait to attract visitors, but later they fill the web with links to Phishing sites in order to steal passwords or data.

File downloads that are malware

Of course they can also infect with the main file. Let’s say we have come to a website to download an application to edit photos on the computer. The installer could be malware, a malicious file that only seeks to infect your computer.

Sometimes the program may even work fine, but at the same time it is installing some dangerous plug-in on the computer. It is usually a back door, a Trojan, with which the hacker will control the computer. It is what is known as Backdoor.

Browser hijacking with fake buttons

If there is something that abounds in pirate pages, it is fake buttons. They are images, logos or banners that they put up to attract the attention of the victim. We can see it with messages such as “click here”, “download now”, “download”, and so on.

We are talking about pages where the victim normally enters to download a program or watch a certain series. Therefore, you will find buttons of this type and, without being aware of it, you will click on them. This could automatically hijack the browser by controlling cookies, installed extensions, history …

Plugin Installation

It could also happen that malicious plugin that is installed automatically is a program that sneaks into our computer. It is one of the most common malware entries: we enter a web page, inadvertently download a file and execute it.

This could contain a variety of malicious software. For example keyloggers that steal passwords, Trojans that control the computer, ransomware with which they could encrypt files and ask for a ransom in return …

Request personal information

But in addition to sneaking malicious files, a pirate page could also serve to steal personal data. This can be achieved through a form, for example. Also if they ask us to register or put some type of personal data, such as email, phone number, full name …

This information can be used on the web to include us in spam campaigns, sell it to third parties and even use it to send more personalized phishing attacks.

What to do to be protected on the network

But what can we do to be protected on the Internet? We can even inadvertently end up on pirated pages and download a file that we think is legitimate or click on a link that we shouldn’t. Therefore, it is convenient to take into account some tips so that security is always present.

Always use security programs

Something essential is to use security programs. Have a good antivirus that it tracks and removes malware is going to be very important. So is having a firewall, which can block unwanted connections and thus avoid problems.

For those of you who are Windows users, Microsoft has its own integrated security programs, Windows Defender, with the ability to act as an antivirus and firewall. But we can also have other options such as Avast, Kaspersky or McAfee, to name a few of the main ones. Of course, we always advise installing one that really protects us and not opting for trial versions.

Keep everything up to date

Many security threats can attack computer flaws. They are vulnerabilities that can appear at any given moment and, if we download something inappropriate on a pirate page, it could control the computer or insert malware.

To avoid this we must make sure that we have everything correctly updated. This must be taken into account no matter what type of operating system we use. For example in Windows we can go to Settings, Update and security and check that we have the latest version. We must also check it in the antivirus and any program that we use.

Update windows

Use only official programs and pages

Of course, a fundamental tip is to only use programs that are official. The same must be said of the sites we use to watch movies or videos. If we enter third party pages, which are not really secure, we can have problems.

Sometimes we could even use a program that has certain added functions and that could be interesting, but we run the risk that it has been maliciously modified to attack.

Avoid common sense mistakes

Another issue to take into account is the common sense. It is essential not to make mistakes, such as clicking links on a pirate page that may lead to another containing malware or downloading files that are actually malicious software.

In most cyberattacks, hackers are going to need the victim to make a mistake. They are going to require you to click on a link or download a file. This is what is going to cause the attack to take place.

Therefore, we can say that a pirate page could become a major security threat for users. It is essential to always keep certain recommendations when browsing and to know at all times how they could attack us.

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