Your choices for Bandersnatch, Bear Grylls’s You vs Wild on Netflix prone to hacking: IIT Madras

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Published: April 23, 2019 10:33:44 AM

Although Netflix has pointed out that it will not be this easy for hackers to access their data as it will require an analysis of the traffic that they receive on their website.

Researchers added that they can analyse the video traffic of Netflix and can find clues which can help them in understanding the viewers choices.

According to a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Madras, hackers may be able to trace what interactive content you are watching on Netflix. The breakout on the potential hacking threat, first reported by Wired, has put a question mark to the Las Gatos-based streaming giant’s security claims.

The researcher added that they could analyse the video traffic on Netflix and find clues that helped them understand the viewers’ choices. Netflix’s interactive content – including Bandersnatch and You vs Wild featuring Bear Grylls – is such that every choice a user makes leads to another choice.

“I work on the 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.

“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.

Although Netflix has pointed out that it will not be this easy for hackers to access their data as it will require an analysis of the traffic that they receive on their website. In response to this, the researchers from IIT Madras have pointed out that hackers can trick Netflix users by making them connect to rogue routers which can give them access to all the data that they require. The researchers analysed the choices made by 100 viewers, only to find themselves determining 96 per cent of their decisions correctly.

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