Saturday January 18, 2020
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Now The Hackers May Want To Crack Down What You Stream on Netflix

While Netflix contended that carrying out such an attack would not be easy as it requires access to network traffic for analysis, the IIT Madras researchers pointed out that tricking users into connecting to rogue routers or access points is quite possible for hackers.

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Netflix
"I work on analysis of encrypted network traffic, and when we stumbled upon this Netflix movie Bandersnatch it was something very new," Gargi Mitra, a PhD student at IIT Madras was quoted as saying by the WIRED. Pixabay

Despite Netflix’s move to encrypt all its video streams in order to better protect user privacy, hackers may still get to know what interactive content you watch on the popular streaming service, new research from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras suggests.

The researchers said that they can analyse Netflix’s encrypted interactive video traffic to find clues about the viewing habits of users, and which choices they have made in their movie journeys, the WIRED reported on Sunday.

Netflix
Analysing the choices that 100 viewers made, the researchers were able to determine the decisions correctly 96 per cent of the time, the report said Pixabay

The interactive content on Netflix allows users to make choices for the characters and shape the story. Each choice leads to a different adventure, so users can watch again and again, and see a new story each time. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and You vs. Wild are some of the interactive titles that Netflix has.

“I work on analysis of encrypted network traffic, and when we stumbled upon this Netflix movie Bandersnatch it was something very new,” Gargi Mitra, a PhD student at IIT Madras was quoted as saying by the WIRED.

hacking
The researchers said that they can analyse Netflix’s encrypted interactive video traffic to find clues about the viewing habits of users, and which choices they have made in their movie journeys, the WIRED reported on Sunday. Pixabay

“But when I was looking at the choice-making interactions it turned out that they are similar to other kinds of interactions in web applications and web sites I study. So I tried out some of my techniques and we were able to determine which options the viewer chooses,” Mitra added.

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While Netflix contended that carrying out such an attack would not be easy as it requires access to network traffic for analysis, the IIT Madras researchers pointed out that tricking users into connecting to rogue routers or access points is quite possible for hackers.

Analysing the choices that 100 viewers made, the researchers were able to determine the decisions correctly 96 per cent of the time, the report said. (IANS)

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Web Cookies Double ad Revenue For Publishers Online: Tech Report

According to the study, there is a 52 percent reduction in advertising revenue to publishers when cookies are eliminated through Internet user opt-out protocols

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cookies
Web cookies nearly double ad revenue for online publishers leading to profits. Pixabay

Irritating for users most of the times, web cookies nearly double ad revenue for online publishers and if users decide to opt out of online ads, there is over 50 per cent reduction in advertising revenue, new research has found.

A computer cookie, also known as a web cookie, Internet cookie or browser cookie, represents data packets that are sent to your computer to help a website track your visits and activity.

As a result, the site is better able to track items in your shopping cart when browsing an ecommerce site, or personalize your user experience on the website so that you are more likely to see content and ads you want to see.

Researchers from Boston University, Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado and Shaoyin Du of University of Rochester explored the real value of the cookie to websites, advertisers, and found that cookies represent higher revenue to online publishers.

According to the study, there is a 52 percent reduction in advertising revenue to publishers when cookies are eliminated through Internet user opt-out protocols. On the other hand, when cookies are present, publishers’ ad pricing doubles.

The study, to be published in the journal Marketing Science is authored by Garrett Johnson of Questrom School of Business at Boston University; Scott Shriver of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado; and Shaoyin Du of the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester.

According to them, while most Americans decide not to opt-out of online advertising, 0.23 per cent of American online ad impressions arise from users who decide to opt out of online ads. These users, in effect, have opted out of the use of cookies to track their online navigation of a particular site.

Cookies, Internet, Background, Pay, Matrix, Networking
Computer cookies, also known as web cookies, Internet cookies or browser cookies, represent data packets that are sent to your computer to help a website track your visits and activity. Pixabay

The authors calculated that the inability to behaviorally target opt-out users results in a loss of roughly $8.58 in ad spending per American opt-out consumer. “Though few users tend to opt out, we note that certain types of users are more likely to opt out, and that has certain consequences for the advertising industry,” said Du.

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“We find that opt-out rates are higher among users who install non-default browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome, which tells us that opt-out users are likely more technologically sophisticated. We also note substantial variation in opt-out rates by region by city and state and by certain demographics,” Du informed. (IANS)