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White Paper

Residential IPs: A Rising Threat to Content Exclusivity

Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services are facing a new threat: hijacked residential IP addresses. An estimated 200 million people unknowingly have had their home IP address hijacked by premium VPN vendors or during a cyber-attack.

Pirate viewers use these IP addresses to access territorially restricted content for free or at a reduced price. By hiding behind a legitimate domestic IP address, pirate viewers can easily bypass VPN restrictions because streaming providers can’t risk blocking genuine users.

Yet the failure to stop this form of geo-piracy puts OTT streaming services at risk for non-compliance with rights holders’ agreements for content exclusivity. It also erodes service revenue if the content is easily available from alternate countries with lower licensing costs.

How can you protect content from residential proxy IP addresses?

The first step is knowledge. In a new white paper, Residential VPNs: A Rising Risk for OTT Services, Kingsmead Security reveals how VPN vendors are evolving their technology to avoid detection. In particular, the paper discusses the use of both data center and residential proxies, and analyzes real-world data from popular streaming services, highlighting the very real-world risk of hijacked residential IPs on both revenue and contract compliance.

Kingsmead recommends four responses for OTT streaming services who identify suspected hijacked residential IP addresses:

  1. Defend. Make it as difficult as possible for a VPN vendor to target your service with residential proxies.
  2. Understand. Gather information that is useful for detecting VPN activity, such as regularly reviewing the VPN market for vendors claiming to avoid detection by your service.
  3. Respond, by increasing the blocking rates on your service. A reputable VPN detection vendor is key here.
  4. Educate consumers.

Take steps to protect your streaming revenue and your reputation from hijacked residential IP addresses. Downloading this white paper is an important first step.