We all know by now that some people are using the Kodi Media Centre as a way to access illegal content. Some of these people use plugins that they download in repositories, collections of mini-apps, which can stream video from services online. There are IPTV plugins that stream Sky Sports, and others which can access on-demand TV stored in online "lockers".
But what happens if the people running a plugin, or repository of many plugins, lose control of their domain names, and everything held on them? Well, that's happening, and will continue to happen, as the entertainment industry asks the courts to hand over domains linked to piracy.
The knock-on effect for users? Well, the law firm that ends up controlling the plugin you use can then turn it on you. That might be something reasonably benign, like logging all the things you do on the Kodi box. It might include collecting the addresses of other piracy-related plugins and reporting them back to be seized through court action. And it may be used to push malicious code to your box.
The last example might not be something a law firm would do, but it might be something a hacker might try. Botnets, after all, are big business and if there are tens of thousands of compromised Kodi boxes out there then they could be used to bring down sites or services. What's more, TorrentFreak spoke to a Kodi developer who told them that plugins are basically non-sandboxed python scripts. That means they can be used to access almost anything on the device on which they are running.
So what are your options? Well, in short, if you're using plugins that aren't officially supported by Kodi, then there's nothing you can do. You're operating on trust, and like any program you download from the internet, you may well be opening your machine up to malicious individuals. Even those who seem to provide what you wanted might be doing something terrible with your data.
TorrentFreak tried to ask the law firm that controls the TVAddons domains what it was doing with them, but it got no answer. Hardly surprising. The former owners have gone to ground, and no one can really say what is or might happen. If you used TVAddons then wipe your box. If you don't know, then you might want to wipe your box too.
If you want to watch sport, you might want to cough up the money for Now TV and a sports pass. Is anything worth the potential damage a rogue plugin could do? [via TorrentFreak]