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Study: Bridgerton ‘most dangerous’ series to pirate

December 4, 2023

According to a study by data destruction and information security experts Secureteam, Bridgerton is the most dangerous series to stream illegally, as fans eagerly await its return. The study curated a list of 2023 and 2024’s most popular series and returning shows and ran torrenting and streaming URLs through a malware detection program.

Some 70 per cent of torrenting and streaming URLs for Bridgerton were flagged as sites with a critical security risk. These sites contained malware and had been blacklisted by security programs like McAfee, or both. Malware-ridden streaming sites included 1337x.

The top five most dangerous 2023 series and immanently returning shows to torrent and illegally stream are: 

Name of Series Percentage of Medium Security Risk and Above Percentage of Critical Security Risk 
Bridgerton 80 70
The Walking Dead: Dead City 75 35
The Mandalorian 70 30
Only Murders in the Building 45 20
The Last of Us 65 15


To determine the most dangerous shows to torrent and stream illegally, Secureteam started by curating a list of popular shows that were released in 2023 and popular series returning later in the year or in 2024. They then put these search terms into Google, alongside the keywords “torrent”, “stream” or “watch for free”. Example: “Torrent Bridgerton”, “Stream Bridgerton”, “Watch Bridgerton for free”. The top 21 URLs were then entered into Sucuri, a website malware and security checker.

Why are these sites so dangerous? 

“Illegal streaming sites that distribute copyrighted content, such as TV series and movies, with authorisation are ethically problematic and also pose significant risks to users. They typically contain hidden malware that, if accidentally accessed, can have serious consequences for users and their devices. When users visit these sites and engage with their content, they unknowingly expose themselves to potential security risks. Malware on these sites may be present in the form of Trojans, viruses, worms, adware and spyware. Downloaded malicious software may compromise sensitive personal information, including login credentials, private messages and financial data, leading to financial fraud, identity theft, and the potential for blackmail and extortion. We recommend avoiding these sites, prioritising legal and reputable sources and making sure to employ robust antivirus and anti-malware software to safeguard devices when using the internet,” said Secureteam.

How can I determine whether my device has been infected by malware, and what can I do about this? 

“To check for malware on your device, monitor performance closely. Sudden sluggishness, increased boot times and unexplained crashes could all indicate the presence of malware. Rapid battery depletion, persistent, intrusive pop-ups and ads and apps behaving erratically are also common signs. Regularly run reputable security scans, check for changes and keep an eye out for unauthorised access to accounts or suspicious transactions.”

“If you suspect malware, we recommend isolating the device immediately, which involves disconnecting it from the internet to prevent data theft or the propagation of malware. Uninstall suspicious apps and change passwords to accounts to avoid unauthorised access. Ensure operating systems, apps and security software are up-to-date, and perform a full scan, following any further instructions. If you lack the confidence to take these steps, consult a qualified professional,” advised Secureteam.

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