11 September 2022

One of the most anticipated Formula 1 races of the year, the Monza Grand Prix, takes place on Sunday 11 September. The famous racetrack, which is celebrating its centenary, is already sold-out this year and, given the momentous occasion, there might be a temptation to illegally stream the race.

However, in a recent operation carried out by the Guardia di Finanza as many as 6,000 consumers were identified as using illegal streaming services. As a result, they are being made to pay a fine of 1,000 euros each, with criminal charges to follow.

Illegal streamers are risking more than a fine in carrying out this activity. Cybersecurity firm Webroot recently found that 90% of illegal streaming sites used for piracy of sports content hide malicious and dangerous content for users, including Trojans for compromising bank accounts, as well as illegal software. In addition, virtually every one of these sites feature extreme or explicit content unsuitable for young children.

Commenting on the dangers of these sites, Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT said:

 “The Monza race is undoubtedly one of the most eagerly anticipated of the Formula 1 Grand Prix calendar. It is on occasions such as this that viewership increases, as does the temptation to watch the programme using illegal streaming sites. However, these fans may not be aware of the dangers and risks associated in doing so; not just the financial implications and the malware attacks, but also the legal consequences.

 “The Webroot research makes clear the threat to users. Illegal streaming is run by very complex and unscrupulous criminal organisations. Watching the race through an official subscription is the only way to avoid putting yourself and your family at risk.”

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