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Brits Are Catching 'Digital STDs' By Watching Porn

Brits Are Catching 'Digital STDs' By Watching Porn

Cyber security and anti-virus software company Kapersky has revealed a big rise in the number of people 'contracting' viruses after watching porn on devices.

The company, which makes and sells anti-virus software released a report in January detailing the sharp rise in the number of people unwittingly downloading virus onto their devices after (or maybe even during) watching pornography.

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The report found that in 2017, just over 25 per cent of mobile users (over 1.2 million people) who encountered malware were 'attacked by malicious programs that used adult content to lure them into installing malware on their devices.'

Now, I for one have never seen porn*, so I wouldn't understand, but that does indeed sound very scary. (Okay, okay, fine. There was that one time.)

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Kapersky Lab specialists identified 23 different families of malware which use porn content to hide their real function.

The report broke down the distribution of users encountering different types of malware disguised as adult content applications. One of its biggest revelations was the prevalence of 'scareware' tactics.

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For example, some users will have their device screen locked and receive a message saying that illegal content (usually child porn) has been detected on the device, which is now locked.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

To unlock it, users have to pay a ransom. Messages usually come with screenshots from actual child porn videos.

In a release on the company's site, Roman Unuchek, security expert at Kaspersky Lab highlighted one of the issues raised by porn malware.

"A victim who has been compromised with an adult content-enabled malicious program might think twice before reporting the incident, simply because they very fact that they were trying to find porn content is viewed critically," he wrote.

He also noted that the rise in porn malware can be in part attributed to a general rise in people consuming 'more content via mobile'.

The company recommends people only use trusted websites when it comes to adult content, and I definitely don't know of any, but there are probably a few of them out there if you ask other people.

It also discourages internet users from 'installing Android applications from unknown sources' or buying 'hacked accounts to porn websites', which is illegal and could get you in all heaps of trouble.

Lastly, they recommend using a reliable internet security solution to protect yourself from cyberthreats. Presumably, they were being modest and didn't want to name themselves, but they have sold anti-virus software to 400 million users, so they probably have some idea what they're doing.

Featured Image Credit: Voltage Pictures/PA

Topics: Phones and Gadgets, Technology

Ronan O'Shea

Ronan J O'Shea is a freelance journalist from London who has written for titles including LADbible, Headspace, The Independent, National Geographic Traveller and New York Post. Contact him at [email protected]

 

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