Kickass Torrents, the most frequently visited piracy site on the Internet, claims to have removed an advertisement containing malicious software. When clicked, the ad would sometimes download software on a user's computer without his or her consent.
Social media erupted with questions over the weekend about why users visiting Kickass Torrents were greeted with a warning advising them that the site ahead contained malware harmful to users' computers. The warnings were put into place by Google's Unwanted Software program, which automatically detects when major websites allow shady advertisers to take up space on their site.
The Google warning, a bright red page that asks users if they're certain they wish to continue, disappeared Monday when Kickass told TorrentFreak it removed the ads in question.
“The site ahead contains harmful programs,” the warning on Chrome stated. “Attackers on kat.cr might attempt to trick you into installing programs that harm your browsing experience (for example, by changing your homepage or showing extra ads on the sites you visit).”
The warning appeared just days after Kickass administrators issued a rare public note, warning users to steer clear of any “Kickass Torrent” domains not located at KAT.cr. Copycats have increasingly sought to replicate the site, they said, in order to spread malware or use the ad-space to sell virtual private networks (VPNs) or software used throughout the piracy community.