Watching the World Cup or Downloading Nasty Adware?

As World Cup fever ratchets up, it’s natural to want to watch as many games as possible. If you’re not near a TV when the game you want to see is on, you’re probably tempted to find a place to stream it online – and make your work day doubly productive by working in one web browser and streaming Fifa action in another.

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But be forewarned – as detailed by Kaspersky Lab researcher Dmirtry Bestuzhev, many of the websites that claim to be World Cup streaming services will harm your system and can steal your credit card information, if you let them.

The bottom line is that the only safe way to watch the World Cup games is on a television or by logging in through an authenticated cable service provider

The least malicious of these programs will require you to download drivers that are supposedly proprietary video player plugins; these may or may not provide video feeds to the games, but in a best case scenario the least harmful among them will also include adware that can monitor your online activity to send you more ads while draining your system’s resources.

Other programs, tell users that all they need to do to access any game at any time is to download their program – and provide their credit card informatio. And if that isn’t a huge red flag to you, it should be. Such sites are bogus, and are simply trying to steal your money.

The bottom line is that the only safe way to watch the World Cup games is on a television or by logging in through an authenticated cable service provider (in the U.S. this is ESPN.com) subscriber login. U.S. users can also stream games for free on Univision.com.

Any other supposed World Cup streaming service is highly likely to include harmful software.

Of course, this is hardly the only World Cup-related Internet scam around. Cyber criminals are attracted to global events of all kinds, and the action in Brazil is a goldmine for would-be thieves. Users should treat all online Fifa-related promotions, programs and advertisements as highly suspicious.

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