Malicious advertising and music piracy: a New Zealand case study

Paul A. Watters, Maya Watters, Jacqueline Ziegler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have investigated the link between online advertising and rogue websites promoting film piracy, in several different countries around Asia-Pacific. The key findings are that high risk advertising dominates sites which are geared towards Hollywood TV and movies in English, yet mainstream advertising tends to be more prevalent on sites in local languages with local content. In this first systematic analysis of music piracy, the prevalence of high risk and mainstream advertising on music rogue sites was estimated. Advertising was measured from 3,210 web pages identified as infringing by Google, according to the DMCA, and advertisements were downloaded with a New Zealand IP address, to replicate what New Zealand users would have seen. New Zealand was selected because the founder of the Megaupload file hosting website-previously among the Top 100 websites worldwide-has recently been the subject of a police investigation into criminal copyright infringement. The results show that 93% of advertisements were high risk, and only 7% were mainstream. Disturbingly, 97.24% of the high risk ads were for malware-much higher than for movie websites-suggesting that Kiwis are at extreme risk for malware infection if they visit these sites. Further research on the malware samples downloaded needs to be undertaken to determine if rogue music websites are a vector for banking malware.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 5th Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Conference, CTC 2014
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, USA
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479988259
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event5th Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Conference, CTC 2014 - Aukland, New Zealand
Duration: 24 Nov 201425 Nov 2014


Other5th Cybercrime and Trustworthy Computing Conference, CTC 2014
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


  • Online advertsing
  • intellectual property
  • music industry
  • piracy
  • New Zealand


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