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.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.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.
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.Use a malware scanner to find and remove the adware (ESET offers a free scanner at https://com/online-scanner).Q: I suspect that many people wouldn’t take an infected computer to a repair store to get the malware removed.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?