Current category:Malware&Tips and Tricks

Internet Porn Still Biggest Threat From Malware

That bastion of email spam and the number one online search term is also the cause of much malware infection, Porn. According to a recent reports, pornography related searches and downloads are the biggest single threat to your PC, with up to 63% of people looking for pornography online being subject to some kind of infection or attempted infection of their system.

It is, of course, perfectly understandable, particularly amongst new users of the web, that, at least just once, people are going to be curious. They’ll go off to their favourite search engine, type in “porn” or other related search term and, frankly, will be overwhelmed with the volume of sites returned.

All is not as it seems, however, because, malware (viruses, trojans, spyware etc) writers are nothing if not resourceful. Understanding about social engineering has become their forte, and as such, you need to be versed in that too.

internet porn

Malware is no longer the purview of students having some, sometimes malicious, fun. It has become in and of itself big business, and malware writers are after your identity, your credit card details, your online bank information, even your personal information about hobbies and what you do for a living.

Why?

Because this information is not only a goldmine to marketers, but it is essential to getting into your life so organised criminals can steal your identity, and get loans, credit cards and more in your name. With a well placed piece of spyware, soon malware writers can know more about you that probably even you do.

So what does this have to do with porn?

As we stated at the start, malware writers have become good at social engineering, and they KNOW from experience and research that people will and do search for pornographic material online. And so, they too can provide it. With a nasty catch. As you surf by their bountiful supplies of said material, you’re opening yourself wide-open to infection from malware.

They start with the simple stuff: are you running as a user with direct “always on” administration rights on your PC? If you are, chances are they will want to install a so-called browser helper object (or BHO), of course, they’ll tell you that this is so you can use the “enhanced” functionality of the site. It won’t be. It will be a back-door into your system, allowing them to log keystrokes, download other software and start the long and slow process of collecting information from you.

Another real risk is allowing the site to download some application to let you view content offline. Don’t be fooled, this will be malware too. If the site / malware writers are really clever, it will actually help you view content offline, perhaps even installing a codec to your favourite video viewing software. You may even be given access to “extra” content (that was probably not even theirs in the first place!), but all the while, your system is now compromised.

Don’t panic, however. There are things you can do to protect yourself, and you really should do these things if you want to stay safe:

  1. Have an up-to-date antivirus system and anti-spyware software installed.
  2. Don’t surf unknown sites. Any. If you’re unsure, do an internet search about the site. But mostly if you’re unsure, don’t.
  3. Never agree to download a “special” codec or program to view content unless you’ve heard of it, and know it to be safe. If unsure, decline the download or update.
  4. Always have a back-up of your important data.
  5. Keep your computer properly patched with the latest security updates from Microsoft.

Follow these simple steps to stay safe online, no matter what your surfing pleasure.

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About Justin Bellinger

Justin is an experienced software professional, having worked in software and software security for nearly 20 years. Justin is VP of Security Products at SPAMfighter.
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5 Comments

  1. Ryan says:

    Even there are such infected fake stuff on you-tube… infecting the system with malwares….. we should also be very careful while viewing videos on you tube…….

  2. Vanessa says:

    Fake links are created with malwares and posted on sites with more of youth traffic.. Tempted gals/guys follow the link unknowing about the risk they are falling for..So try avoiding advertisements links & clicks… Don’t click on links with a warning message..

  3. Rosenstand says:

    The absloute methos to protect against malware etc. from porn sites is: Don’t visit them. It is obvious of course.

    But actually you ca be tricked into visiting these sites from malicious links and you are just as screwed if you get there by mistake as if you get there on purpose.

    No matter how “clean” you are in mind and soul: DO NOT surf the web without proper anti virus protection.

  4. Bjørn says:

    It is offcourse very inportant to have a anti virus installed on your computer, and more important to have it up to date :-)

  5. John Nielsen says:

    For a while, yet it will probably still be porn sites from which a significant proportion of malware spreads. But as the market share of mobile browsers increases, the URL shorteners also be a major risk factor. Many users clicks on the short URLs without any concerns or any knowledge of where the short-link actually points to. This risk, of course, is a fact with both mobile devices like smartphones, but also the traditional computers with Windows or Apples OIS. This threat can be a minimized by a solid antivirus program. But it cannot completely avert it, of course not.

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