Billions of Porn Site Visitors at Risk of Malware Infection, Researchers Warn

Posted on October 2, 2020 at 3:55 PM

Billions of Porn Site Visitors at Risk of Malware Infection, Researchers Warn

A report has emerged that porn sites are the main hacking destination for most hackers, as billions of porn visitors are at risk of infecting their computer with malware.

Like other sites, the major source of income for most free porn sites is the juicy ad revenue they derive from ad sponsors. The problem is, not all ads coming from ad sponsors are genuine. Some are threaded with malware, which moves into the users’ system when they accomplish a request.

Also, many advertisers will prefer doing business with non-porn sites rather than risk their reputation and security advertising on porn sites. This leaves the porn site owners no choice than to partner with unscrupulous ad sponsors who deliver loads of malware and spam via the ads.

Porn sites are big targets for hackers

The popularity of porn sites began in the early days of the internet, and they have become the Holy Grail for hackers to launch their attacks mercilessly.

Although other sites are at risk of malware attacks, porn sites have the largest share of malware attacks due to a lot of favorable factors.

As it stands, there is virtually no porn site free of malware attack, because hackers can get to their targets through various means.

Since porn sites are some of the most visited sites in the world, it’s not a surprise that they have to deal will malware attacks often. The sites also have a share of the blame for their dealings with unscrupulous ad partners.

The high number of visitors to these sites is a strong attraction to cybercriminals, who are using different tools to infiltrate the systems of users looking for visual stimulation.

Billions of computers at risk

Porn sites are already the avenue through which many computer systems are infected with malware. But the situation has gotten even worst.

According to a new security report, the most popular porn sites are infested, which plant malware on the victim’s computer. As a result, billions of users can be at risk of malware infestation, as the report noted.

Generally, average computer users understand the high risks of visiting porn sites. But those who do not deliberately visit the sites may also be at risk of infesting their computer. That’s because many big porn sites are now filled with malware containing ads from a single malicious network.

Adult sites are making matters worse

According to Malwarebytes, a hacking syndicate known as Malsmoke place malware infiltrated ads on adult sites and redirected them malware downloads. When users click on the ad, the user unknowingly releases the malware to infect their system.

But the porn sites are even complicating issues, making it easier for the threat actors to gain ground with their malware. Most of the adult sites feature popup ads that don’t require permission from the user to open. The user doesn’t even need to click on the ad before it opens and sends malware to their system. That’s how bad these porn sites have become when it comes to user safety.

In the past, the hacking group has been focusing on smaller websites. However, recently the group got a breakthrough by pulling off a malicious attack on a popular porn site xHamster.

The site is the 20th most visited site in the world, behind Netflix which is the 19th most visited site. With the number of traffic Netflix receives a day, many would wonder the number of systems the hackers have compromised through xHamster.

Security lapses exploited

The only good news about the whole thing is the fact that not all users exposed to malicious ads will be infected, according to Malwarebytes.

That’s because the infected ads exploited security loopholes in Internet Explorer or Adobe Flash Player. The malware will not infect the computer if either of these is not used or installed, as the computer will reject the program. But many computers are regularly updated with these programs, which makes the job of the hackers easier.

Cybersecurity experts have warned that users should install a tough security program like Microsoft Defender, which will prevent any viruses from getting into their computers.

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Billions of Porn Site Visitors at Risk of Malware Infection, Researchers Warn
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Billions of Porn Site Visitors at Risk of Malware Infection, Researchers Warn
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A report has emerged that porn sites are the main hacking destination for most hackers, as billions of porn visitors are at risk of infecting their computer with malware.
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Koddos
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