Walking Dead ALERT: Fans given online piracy warning ahead of HUGE season 9 episode

Walking Dead viewers are gearing up for the hugely anticipated episode 5 of season 9.

The unmissable instalment of the zombie epic will see Rick Grimes – who has been on the show since episode one – make his dramatic Walking Dead exit.

How Rick departs the Walking Dead remains to be seen, but fans thinking of illegally watching the season 9 episode have been warned.

AMC, the makers of The Walking Dead, make it much harder to watch the show illegally thanks to a number of anti-piracy measures.

One of these measures is adding secret, invisible watermarks on episodes of their shows.

These invisible, identifying digital features are added to every AMC episode before they get distributed by forensic watermarking firm NexGuard.

The marks are added to help AMC identify and track down where leaks happen and who is responsible for them.

However, despite this there will always be those that still try to illegally download, stream or distribute popular shows like The Walking Dead.

And those Walking Dead fans have been given an online piracy warning by security experts.

Kapersky Lab and BestVPN.com have published a study looking at the most pirated shows online.

And they found that illegally pirating TV shows can potentially open the door for cybercriminals to hack your computer.

The research found that hackers are increasingly turning to pirated episodes of TV shows to deliver their payloads for malicious software.

This malware can be bundled alongside or disguised as video files, Variety reported.

While Game of Thrones was the main target, The Walking Dead was the second biggest target for such a malware campaign.

They found 100,000 infection attempts surrounding pirated copies of The Walking Dead on almost 20,000 computers around the world.

In comparison with Game of Thrones there was more than 170,000 infection attempts affecting around 50,000 users.

Whichever show you’re a fan of, the research underlines the security risks that people open themselves up to when they illegally download boxsets.

The warning comes ahead of the airing of the hugely anticipated episode 5 of season 9.

The episode which shows how Rick’s journey ends in The Walking Dead will be shown in the US on Sunday and in the UK on Monday.

That episode – entitled What Comes After – will be shown in the UK at 9pm on Monday on Fox.