AG Brnovich warns of dangerous pirated websites

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(Source:  Pavel Ignatov via 123RF) (Source: Pavel Ignatov via 123RF)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich warns Arizonans of the impending consequences of downloading malware from pirated websites in new public service announcement.

"Now more than ever, consumers need to think before they download anything off the internet," said Brnovich.

A study shows that 1 in 3 pirate websites exposed users to malware exploitable by criminals.

Nearly half of all malware is downloaded without the user knowing.

In what is known as a "drive-by" download, viruses are unintentionally downloaded without the user having to click on a link.

Potential consequences for downloading malware are:

  • Financial loss, including breaches to banking accounts or credit card information
  • Identity theft and loss of privacy
  • Ransomware that blocks users access to computer or cell phone until they pay a ransom
  • Spyware downloads that grant hackers access to computer or cell phone cameras without the user's knowledge

To prevent exposure to dangerous websites avoid untrusted websites and only visit legal, secure, and legitimate websites. Also, install anti-virus programs and keep them updated.

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