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.
The hackers then used the photos to try to extort money from people. We saw a variation of this scheme in “Shut Up and Dance,” the third episode of the third series of the British sci-fi video series “Black Mirror.” A young man is blackmailed by someone who used the webcam in the lad’s laptop to record him watching porn.
Q: I’ve also read that some users receive pop-up messages on their screens saying things like, “Microsoft windows has detected that a porn virus has infected your system and is trying to steal pictures, data and social networking passwords.” How should a user respond to a message like that?
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?
Does that mean that security experts don’t have a clear idea of how big of a problem this is?
A: The embarrassment factor definitely complicates things, from gathering accurate metrics to determining the root cause of the problem. Or could it be that the folks who visit them are naïve and lacking in security awareness?
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.Q: Does a person face an unusually high risk of downloading malicious software — or malware — if they visit a porn site? Porn sites generally don’t have more malware than other kinds of sites. They keep click-click-clicking on links that promise free, high-definition porn.The more you do that, the greater your risk of installing malware.No sense in pretending this isn’t an issue; few things generate as much traffic online as pornography.
One company alone — Pornhub — said it attracted 23 billion visits from around the world last year, and they collectively viewed nearly 92 billion videos.A: Users should ignore this message and they should not call the toll free phone number that typically appears with it.This message is associated with adware that hawks flaky support services.Those support agents are likely to have a “seen it all before” attitude and are not going to be judgmental, unless of course the content is clearly illegal, such as child pornography.