Is visiting Porn sites giving your computer malware?
Porn sites are an embarrassing secret for most people. Some folks are too scared to go to a porn site because of the fear of catching a virus or another malicious bug. And in case they catch one, it would be awkward to ask someone for help.
So how do you get around this dilemma?
It is very rare for a porn website to infect a person’s computer intentionally unless porn is just a bait to infect the user. Sometimes people get infected by malicious software or bugs because of their own risky behaviour. For example, some users will click through tens of ads that promise them free porn. Most of such ads lead them to a different site and some of them may want to attack a user’s computer. Once infected, they may use the PC as a bot or encrypt the PC and demand ransom.
There are hundreds of ads which tell people they have caught a malicious virus and suggests them to call a company for help with the repair. This turns out to be a money squeeze operation more than virus removal.
Some sophisticated hacker groups target porn site users as porn seekers will do almost anything to get free porn videos. Some hackers use embedded videos to attack a visitors’ computer.
A porn site primarily makes money by selling a subscription to watch their content and by advertisements. Either way, they are going to make money off you. Even a half decent business will want to protect its customers. So they would spend at least a little bit of money on securing their site for paying customers. But free porn sites depend only on advertising. For example sites like Youjizz still exist because of ad revenue. If they intentionally infect their visitors, none of them will come back.
But they advertise other paid porn sites and if you are crazy enough to keep clicking on ads everywhere, sooner or later you will visit a site that will infect your browser.
Porn sites are very popular so hackers use them as an attack point to get maximum exposure with minimum work. Pornhub has been in existence for only 2 years but has already passed 92 billion views. That is equivalent to each person on this planet watching at least 11 porn videos. This kind of massive attention draws the interest of cybercriminals.
They may be interested in stealing a porn site’s customers or in stealing information from those customers. In either case, xxx sites have a lot of visitors and they are easy picks.
In some cases, malware creeps into genuine sites, ads and even apps and the owners would be surprised to find out that their site is attacking customers. Thanks to the efforts of a consortium of browser developers like Chrome, Mozilla etc, security vendors like AVG, ESET and others, browser-based attacks are being recognised rapidly and stopped.
Google is working hard to prevent malicious software in its app ecosystem to ensure your Android phone can be protected from hack attacks by malicious apps.