Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury live stream: Free links to watch fight put millions at risk

Anthony Cuthbertson

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury return to the ring on Saturday in a rematch that some boxing afficianados are calling the biggest heavyweight bout in decades.

WBC champion Wilder and lineal champion Fury are both set for eight-figure paydays thanks to lucrative broadcasting deals, though analysts warn it may come at a cost for punters.

The high price of the pay-per-view contest – which will set back fight fans £25 in the UK and $80 (£62) in the US – will likely force many to seek illegal streams in order to watch it online for free. As with other recent high-profile fights, hundreds of pirated streams are expected to spread across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as on dedicate forums on sites like Reddit.

"The much-anticipated rematch between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder is finally here, and online searches for links to stream the fight are set to surge, despite well-publicised cyber security concerns," Joseph Woodruff, a threat intelligence analyst at security firm EclecticIQ, told The Independent.

"Fake streaming sites and redirects are a popular tactic used by cyber criminals, and fans searching for different ways to watch the Fury vs Wilder fight taking place in Las Vegas this weekend need to be aware of them, even if they look legitimate."

The increasing costs of watching such events mean piracy has once again become extremely prevelent, with some analysts claiming it has never been easier to find illegal links to watch fights.

In the build up to the last Wilder vs Fury fight, illegal streaming websites ranked highly on popular search engines, while links could also be found by typing in keywords in the search bars of platforms like Twitter.

Figures from leading online piracy authority Muso revealed that nearly 10 million people illegally watched the first fight between the two undefeated fighters.

There are a number of ways that cyber criminals and hackers can take advantage of the interest surrounding the rematch, with anyone watching the fight through illicit streams putting themselves at risk.

The first fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury saw countless illegal live streams spread online, allowing fans to watch for free

Virtual private networks (VPNs) and strong antivirus protections can go some way to mitigating the dangers, though Mr Woodruff warned that the ultimate cost could be far greater than the price of the PPV.

"One way in which cyber criminals use these sites to target users is by telling them they have malware on their machine, recommending they call a support number and then installing software during the phone call that allows them to control the device," he said.

"Once they have access to the system, further damage can be done, whether that is stealing payment details or installing ransomware. Hackers can also compromise the safety of viewers through something called 'typo-squatted domains', where fake URLs host sites that appear genuine."