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Massively Popular Porn Sites Thrust Malware At Machines

Fotolia: Internet pornography concept © Amy Walters #5211782
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Xhamster and Pornhub found to contain links to lots of nastiness… as well as porn

Some of the world’s most visited porn sites are helping infect people’s machines with malware, a security researcher has claimed.

Having initially carried out an investigation into xvideos.com a year and a half ago, and found users faced a 28 percent risk of being exposed to malware, IT professional Conrad Longmore chose to look at a range of others.

Porn - Shutterstock - © jaymastTwo sites, xhamster.com and pornhub.com, posed the greatest danger, according to the tests, which were based on results from Google’s website diagnostics tool. For Pornhub, Longmore said there was a 53 percent chance of malware being thrust at users, compared to 42 percent for Xhamster.

Porn sites serving more than porn

He discovered  third-party content and infected banner ads attached to the affected domains were at the root of the problem. There were 1777 infected pages tied to the pornhub.com domain, with 1067 on xhamster.com.

“We can see that the greatest risk comes from external sites such as crakmedia.com, trafficjunky.net and traffichaus.com plus several others,” Longmore wrote in a blog post.

“These too are intermediaries being abused by third parties, but this is part of the problem with poorly regulated banner ads and traffic exchangers. Bad things slip into pages easily, and very few people want to kick up a fuss.

“If you are going to look at the shady side of the web, then it is very important to make sure that your system is fully patched.

“Logging in as something other than an administrator can also help to reduce the impact of malware… if you have Java then you should probably uninstall that as it is one of the most popular vectors for infection.”

Given employees from a variety of different industries have been caught out for using the Internet for dodgy purposes before, it might be wise businesses keep their systems up to date too, whilst properly enforcing policies. A TechWeekEurope Freedom of Information request recently revealed from 1 January 2011 to 31 October 2012, 2,519 Department for Work and Pensions employees were disciplined for improper or inappropriate use of the Internet or of department data.

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