Streaming video content from non-mainstream providers can unwittingly make you a victim of content piracy. At first you may not care if you get a bargain pricing offer. But you have a chance to become a victim of scammers and hackers, lose personal data and have your financial assets stolen. This is a huge financial loss for consumers and legitimate creative content providers.

Paying a low-balled sign-up fee is often the first sign that you’re dealing with an illegitimate media operation. What most people don’t realize is that bad actors can just as easily steal legitimate creative content to make piles of money. The piracy occurs by using content operators’ mobile apps or content delivery systems against them.

This process turns participating consumers into a weapon that can dramatically hurt businesses’ profits and drive away less legit customers, says CEO of Verimetrics, a longtime security expert for the media and entertainment industry. Asaf warns Ashkenazi.

This digital piracy operation is becoming widespread in the video content space. Its new weapon is harmful to legitimate retailers and advertisers and a growing threat to Hollywood and other sectors like sports and entertainment.

“It is very difficult to measure the extent of piracy today. But it’s much broader than people think,” Ashkenazi told TechNewsWorld.

video piracy mitigation

Verimatrix is ​​a cyber security company based in California, with offices in Europe, that tracks application streams and website traffic. Its dual mission is to protect enterprise applications in mobile phones and provide anti-piracy services to businesses.

The insights Ashkenazi shared about this new approach to video piracy come from unexpected discoveries of digital traffic patterns when monitoring customers’ networks.

His company monitors what hackers do online with developed tools that can identify patterns that indicate an attack is imminent, so it can be minimized or thwarted.

Specialized cyber security protects automotive firms, banks and enterprises from data loss through their apps. Ashkenazi said the customer base is about 300 customers worldwide.

insider view

The cyber firm’s CEO articulated a philosophy that’s a bit unique to Digital Spy. He openly professes the belief that you can never completely prevent digital content from leaking.

Instead, Verimatrix developed proprietary technology services that disrupted the pirates’ business model. The goal is to eliminate a rogue service fast. When possible, they work to remove intrusions from video distribution pipelines.

“If we can make it more difficult for pirates to grab customer data and force them to spend more money to keep operating, they won’t make enough money. Then they don’t go after our customers,” he explained.

For example, let’s say cyber security can disconnect illegal distribution network connections after 10 minutes. In that case, illegitimate Pirate users won’t be able to watch the sporting event they paid for, Ashkenazi explained.

“Also, all the advertising revenue and continued subscription payments no longer go to the pirate streaming service. This would put them out of business,” he continued.

From file sharing to outright piracy

Ashkenazi considers the growth of digital piracy to be an interesting development. Criminals migrated from file-sharing exploits to advanced new technologies, and they learned to adjust to the technologies on their way to becoming modern-day content pirates.

“They’re no different than any other thieves. It’s really fascinating how digital criminals have evolved with technology,” he offered.

In the past, it was more organized enterprises that were doing it. A lot of the activity focused on file sharing. Much of it focused on The Pirate Bay, which launched in 2003, but mostly involved people sharing content with their peers.

Ashkenazi submitted that when people used file-sharing networks, they knew they were doing something illegal. Cheated customers of pirated video streaming networks today are not even aware that they are dealing with an illegal operation.

“When we moved into streaming, the pirates went away and became a more organized group that provided services. And what we see is that these services are looking more and more like legitimate services that are offered by legitimate providers. provide a better user experience than what is being provided,” he said.

The robbers are collecting incoming material from various suppliers. They offer a one-stop video shop with a great experience. He said that it is becoming a very lucrative business.

monetize hacked video distribution

It begs the question: How do they make money? They make money in three ways, often maximizing two or all three approaches in a single video streaming event.

The first method is very straightforward. Rogue business looks like a well-fixed legitimate service. The scams involve offering subscription prices that are much lower than what legitimate content streaming services charge. Because thieves don’t have to pay the source for the material, it’s all a profit for them.

Today video pirates access content distribution with very sophisticated high-tech equipment. According to Ashkenazi, initially, they were stealing content and re-streaming it.

Now they have ways to add and inject their content through legitimate suppliers and stream it for free. The pirating operation allows their unsuspecting customers to connect to the same delivery system that honest services use.

Creative content providers use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) of interconnected servers to speed up webpage loading for data-heavy applications. The legitimate content distributor pays the full cost of preparing the content for streaming and cloud services. Content pirates don’t need to do anything to re-route the video feed to their own streaming outlet.

“We found by working with our clients that legal service providers are paying approximately 20% of their costs to stream content to pirates. It is difficult to know the exact amount,” Ashkenazi said.

“Service providers cannot determine a legitimate paying user from a customer connecting to a hijacked video stream. Users are often not even aware they are using a pirated service,” he said.

two more plans

The second monetization method comes from customers who have to install apps that connect to the CDN. They inadvertently grant app permissions that enable piracy operators to grab your personal data.

Pirates sell this data to third parties. Criminals then use the stolen user information to initiate ID theft and make fraudulent credit card purchases and bank account withdrawals.

A third way that video content pirates make money is by injecting their own advertisements and other advertisements that are sold to legitimate retailers and businesses that do not know the deceptive company’s background.

hide and run tactic

The CEO of the cyber firm said that much of the growth in pirated video activity involves sports streaming. Some fake providers entice users for a short term or special event series and then disappear.

In the process, operators create maximum cash flow. They may suddenly stop and set up again with new URLs. Typically, their scams go undetected by victimized users, and businesses have little recourse through legal scrutiny.

“We have seen a large increase in two types of pirated services. These covert operations can be easily hidden because they do not have the infrastructure that can be identified and tracked by law enforcement,” Ashkenazi explained.

From the users point of view, the websites look legitimate. The money collection process takes place through channels that appear legitimate and are difficult to trace back.

Low-income drivers behind the wheel of electric vehicles are expected to reduce greenhouse gases in the coming years, according to a report released Monday by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a science and technology think tank in Washington, DC. necessary to obtain.

Given the lack of low-carbon alternatives to internal combustion engines (ICEs) and the urgency of emissions reduction requirements for EVs to be market success, report authors Madeline Yozwiak, Sanya Carly and David M. Koninsky.

Because of the stakes involved, he continued, the technology maturity path for EVs needs to move faster than an emerging technology.

There is a need for rapid adoption of this young technology if local and global policy goals are to be met, he added. This implies that a wider range of consumers should buy an EV earlier in the adoption process than similar technologies

Since traditional approaches to incentivizing the purchase of EVs may fail to reach low-income and disadvantaged communities, the authors argue that innovation should help address the disparities in EV adoption and assist the broader goal of mass adoption. would be an important strategy.

They believe that by intentionally involving a diverse range of users in the adoption process, technology providers can more effectively identify issues and modify technology to successfully appeal to the mass market.

barriers to adoption

Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore., agreed that low-income and disadvantaged people who drive cars are critical to the decarbonization of the environment. “That’s where most non-compliant gas cars live, which makes it an important milestone in reducing automotive-based pollutants,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Be aware, however,” he warned, “that most areas still do not yet have sufficient power generation and distribution capacity for these clusters.”

The ITIF report said the top three barriers to EV adoption – range, price and charge time – affect low-income and disadvantaged drivers more than others.

“Standard barriers may be experienced more acutely for low-income individuals than for middle-income individuals,” Yozwick said.

For example, when it comes to low-income drivers, incentives designed to encourage the purchase of EVs can leave their mark.

“The upfront cost is higher than for internal combustion vehicles, yet the primary form of government-created incentive is a tax credit of $7,500,” Yozwiak told TechNewsWorld. “But to benefit from that policy, you must have at least $7,500 in tax liability.”

“If you make $30,000 a year, you won’t have that much in tax liability, so you won’t get the full benefit of that credit to lower the cost of the vehicle compared to higher-income buyers,” she explained.

rich man with garage

Charging an EV can be even more challenging for low-income and disadvantaged drivers. David M. Hart, director of ITIF’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation, told TechNewsWorld, “Low-income people are more likely to live in multi-family dwellings and less likely to have a place to directly charge a car “

Anderle said that because of constraints like price, range and charging time, EVs are often the second car in the family. “Low-income groups likely only have one car that they primarily use, and that is the car that needs to be replaced,” he said.

The report also noted that strategies to accelerate EV adoption among low-income and disadvantaged communities include prioritizing communication and marketing, revisiting perceptions and biases about early adopters, and increasing demand and universal benefits. should be involved in designing government programs to maximize

“Perceptions about who is using this technology inform a variety of decisions,” Yozwick said. “Those decisions result from what defines the types of incentives and policies the technology has made to encourage its adoption.”

“If those decisions are based on misconceptions about who is buying the technology or who can buy it,” she continued, “you perpetuate a bias that could further impact access.”

“When car sellers think of early adopters, they think of wealthy men with garages,” Hart said. “If they focus solely on that group, they will be slow to adopt these vehicles because they will be seen as the province of the rich. We need these vehicles to perform the mobility tasks that all of us need. People need it.”

Enderle notes that EVs were initially offered at the premium end of the market and that public chargers are positioned to serve that segment of the buyer. “Low-income households may not have the power to power a Level 2 charger or the location to install it,” he said.

“Public charging will need to be installed that is more convenient for those populations,” he continued, “such as street inductive charging – which requires less maintenance and is less prone to vandalism – that is available on the ground from companies such as Witricity. achieving.”

Tesla Witricity with Wireless Charger

WiTricity Halo wireless charging for EVs was announced in February.

incentive work

Another takeaway from the report was that the federal government could help increase benefits to the low-income and disadvantaged by modifying the federal tax credit for EV purchases to make it eligible for a refundable, or carry-forward, charging infrastructure. To expand access to and help. Upgrades to older homes.

If the tax credit was refundable, for example, a person who only paid $3,000 in taxes would receive a $3,000 tax credit and a $4,500 refund check from Uncle Sam, or with a carry-forward, they would get a $4,500 tax credit. 3,000 and will be able to carry the remaining credit to subsequent tax years.

Incentives like tax credits can boost sales, said Edward Sanchez, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, a global research, advisory and analysis firm. “Norway recently removed some incentives because they exceeded the 50% threshold for EVs in the form of new car sales, and soon after removing that credit, they saw a drop in EV sales,” he told TechNewsWorld. Told.

“The long goal for manufacturers is to bring the price up to the point where subsidies and credits are no longer needed, but we are not quite there yet,” he said.

move in mass transit

Since most Americans buy used cars, the best thing to do to accelerate EV purchases by low-income and disadvantaged drivers is to accelerate sales of new vehicles, according to E-Mobility Insights in Detroit. Sam Abuelsamid, a leading analyst, said. “As they filter into the used vehicle fleet, they may become more economical,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“The only other thing we can do is encourage people to get out of old vehicles and use mass transportation,” he said.

“As long as Americans want to continue driving their vehicles,” he said, “it’s going to be at least 2040 before you significantly reduce the existing vehicle fleet.”