Q: Don’t porn sites sometimes experience malware problems that they’re actively trying to avoid?I read a news story on The Next that said ESET researchers discovered earlier this year consumers were being tricked into downloading malware that was hidden in what appeared to be a legitimate mobile app for Pornhub. But I’d say that the porn industry has helped pioneer things like video streaming and online payment services, and they don’t want to do things that hurt their businesses. Q: As you said, many people are too embarrassed to admit that they downloaded malware from a porn site.However, the mere possibility that a person could unknowingly have such content on their phone or computer renders plausible blackmail threats and ransom demands based upon false allegations.Q: Are there a lot of hackers making a lot of money by placing malware on porn sites?Alternatively, they should use a Chromebook or a cheap secondhand Windows 7 laptop that has no personal information or banking/shopping/email/file-sharing apps on it.And they should be prepared to hit the off switch the moment anything weird happens.But Stephen Cobb, a senior researcher in the San Diego office of ESET, has a lot of insight on the matter.He’s studied the interconnection between porn and the internet for more than 30 years.
Anyone who is planning on visiting an adult website should make sure their computer or mobile device has a full suite of up-to-date anti-malware and anti-phishing software, and they should know the latest tricks and scams.Either way, I think all security experts have seen a surfeit of computers riddled with malware, spyware, adware, and bloatware, along with a browser history chock full of adult website URLs.Q: I read a story in a British paper that said that a hacker had developed a smartphone app that took a person’s picture when they visited certain porn sites. A: It is certainly possible and might strike an ethically challenged criminal hacker as an interesting business proposition.Q: Do hackers develop malware that targets people who use these sites?
And is the malware more sophisticated than you would find on other types of sites?For example, you might see an advertisemnent that says, “Download this video player now to see this celebrity sex tape” or “your system needs the latest video driver to see this, download it now.” I have not done enough research to conclude that porn sites are using malware that is more sophisticated than you would find on other types of sites.But I would say that porn-related malware is sometimes as sophisticated as anything you see in any other sector, particularly when it comes to things like click fraud.What are the options for getting rid of the malware?