If the recent story about Pirate Bay and Popcorn Time offering streaming services had you intrigued yet equally concerned about safety, then Netflix may have just tipped the balance in its favour.
As we reported earlier this year, Pirate Bay and Popcorn Time (which offer TV shows and movies for illegal download) started offering streaming options via Windows and Mac plug-ins. Dubbed Torrents Time, the new plug-in has been developed by the team at Popcorn-Time.se and basically allows users to stream TV shows and movies through their browser without any need for direct download.
The Risks of Illegal Streaming
For those with a hunger for entertainment regardless of its legality this news not only meant faster access to more content, but the removal of risks commonly associated with illegal downloads. From Trojans and worms to malware and bloatware, illegal downloads can contain a myriad of viruses that will infect your device and make you wish you’d paid for an official download.
Of course, despite these risks, many people are still willing to run the risk in order to avoid paying for something and that’s something legitimate TV and movies services like Netflix are constantly battling against. Indeed, with illegal download sites now offering streaming services and, therefore, appearing “safer”, platforms such as Netflix are being forced to make their product even more secure.
XSS Attacks on the Increase
According to Akamai, DDoS attacks spiked by 40% in Q4 of 2015; however, XSS attacks also became concern for online operators. Accounting for 5% of the most popular attacks in 2015, cross-site scripting and reflected cross-site scripting have become a growing concern for a number of major sites, including Netflix.
By exploiting vulnerabilities in a site’s code, XSS attacks as well as reflected cross-site scripting attacks allow the attacker to inject malicious code into the site and, subsequently, work around a browser’s same origin policy to steal private information from victims.
Keen to secure itself against such risks and improve the security of the open source community as a whole, Netflix recently released the Sleeping Puppy tool. According to its chief developers, Scott Behrens and Patrick Kelley, the new tool allows developers and admins to better identify cross-scripting.
Sleeping Puppy Keeping Legal Streaming Safe
From a developers point-of-view the release of Sleeping Puppy is a fantastic way to protect against XSS attacks, but from a user’s perspective it’s yet another step forward for Netflix. One of the main advantages “legal” movie sites have always had over “illegal” movie sites is that they aren’t riddled with viruses.
Indeed, even novices will usually state that illegal sites such as Pirate Bay are potentially dangerous and that it’s better to stick to platforms such as Netflix. Although the advent of streaming from Pirate Bay might appear to have earned it some security credibility, it’s clear that Netflix is actually fighting the good fight.
While end users might not see the intricate workings of Sleeping Puppy, its invisible protection will help to maintain the idea that Netflix and its peers are safe places to play and, therefore, the obvious choice over illegal streaming sites.