You actually can’t download movies for free. True, you can get away with not paying any money to download from torrent sites like Kickass Torrents and the Pirate Bay, but by operating outside the law you’re putting your computer at a higher risk of infection. That’s an expensive risk.
But don’t fear, Google and Firefox are here.
Both browsers, along with good ol’ Safari, began warning users who tried to visit Kat.cr Tuesday that they were encountering a “Deceptive Site.” “Attackers on kat.cr may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards),” the Chrome warning advises.
Firefox listed a Web Forgery alert on the Kickass homepage, adding only that “web forgeries are designed to trick you into revealing personal or financial information by imitating sources you may trust. Entering any information on this web page may result in identity theft or other fraud.”
It’s still possible to visit the site by clicking through the browser warnings (at your own peril).
Neither warning went into any specifics, but both advisories look like automatic browser triggers meant to protect users from malicious software and phishing. Digital scam artists love phishing, which involves sending malicious emails or advertisements (disguised as normal ones) to try to convince users to enter their usernames, passwords, or credit card information.
Kickass administrators told TorrentFreak they’ve identified the problem and hope to have the warnings lifted before long. But Kickass Torrents, which is at least the 82nd most popular website on all of the internet and almost certainly the most popular piracy site in the world, has been repeatedly flagged by Google and other browsers for distributing malware.
And users in the past who’ve clicked through the “Ignore This Warning” message on Chrome and Firefox, or visited one of Kickass’ proxy sites like KickassUnblocked, have previously complained on Reddit and social media that they’ve been targeted.
If you’re going to visit anyway, at least use some form of ad blocking software. Most of the malware on Kickass and elsewhere comes in the form of dodgy ads that either point users to phishing sites or, increasingly, drive-by downloads. All it takes to be infected by a drive-by download is to hover your mouse over the malicious ad, which launches a string of nasty code onto your computer without your knowledge or authorization.