The offence of possession of an extreme pornographic image was introduced in 2008 and has resulted in more than 5,500 prosecutions, the majority for clips of bestiality. / PA

Porn websites have long been one of the shadiest parts of the internet — but some are looking to clean up their act

Many of the world’s biggest pornsites, including Pornhub and YouPorn, have been hit by an attack that left them sending malware to their visitors — in a now fairly example of top porn sites being insecure.

A third-party advertising provider was giving visitors suspect pieces of code that then gave users malware. Since the code was sneaked in through an advertising network, the two sites didn’t actually have any role in providing it themselves, though it could have hit anyone visiting the site.

The problems didn’t last long, but the two sites together get 800 million visitors per month, and so the attacks could have a huge impact.

Some other sites including xHamster were hit by a different attack last week. That site received almost half a billion monthly visits.

But attacks against the high-profile porn sites — which have perhaps the shadiest reputation on the internet — are relatively uncommon.

“During the past several months, high profile malvertising attacks against top adult sites have been sparse,” writes Malwarebytes. “This makes what we have seen during the past couple of weeks very unusual but also impactful given the sheer volume of traffic these sites receive.”

Porn websites have long not had as much incentive to be secure as other sites, since they are illicit and little talked about. Many remain fairly risky — but sites like Pornhub and YouPorn attract a huge amount of visitors and appear to be gradually transforming themselves into more professional, if still largely secret, parts of the internet. 

Hackers gain access to sensitive US military data

 

Comments