• November 27, 2021

Theft of streaming video accounts soars in the lockdown

Selling access to hacked streaming accounts is big business during the pandemic, so if you make the mistake of reusing passwords, you may eventually come back to haunt you.

While video streaming services have enjoyed a boom during the lockdown, so have people selling stolen passwords.

The black market is thriving, with an audit of the dark web last year revealing 15 billion stolen logins obtained from 100,000 data breaches.

You’re the one paying for your streaming subscriptions, but you may not be the only one watching.

Even if your own security is up to scratch, your streaming accounts are still at risk if you made the mistake of using the same password on different services.

When a new user profile ‘Eve’ first appeared on the home screen of my Stan account (owned by Nine, the publisher of this header), I didn’t worry. I will confess that I shared my account with older relatives to help them pass the time during the Melbourne shutdown, so I thought they had decided to make themselves at home.

A quick phone call revealed that Eve’s mystery was not someone I knew, so I decided to dig a little deeper.

In reviewing the list of devices that had recently accessed my account, I discovered a smart TV located in Sydney. Searching through Eve’s viewing history, she had only started looking a few weeks before; just when Sydney had gotten locked up.

My hospitality only extends so far, even during a global pandemic, so I decided to show Eve the door. From Stan’s menus, I went to account management settings and clicked ‘Sign out of all devices’. Then I changed my password so that I couldn’t log back in.

The big question was, how did Eve access my account? And why was it bold enough to draw attention to itself, instead of lurking in the background using my user profile?

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