Rest assured, this isn't one of those "for your own good" lectures about doing your dirty, sinful business in the bedroom with your significant other. This is about something that's a little more technical, and possibly more dangerous than simply doing the mattress mambo.
With just about everything being available on the Internet, it can be difficult for a company in any industry to survive. To make matters worse, software pirates distributing retail content for free make it even harder, especially if the product is highly valued. This can make a company take drastic measures to generate revenue, if not even a profit is made.
In this case, those that are turning to such measures are working in what's called the "online adult industry" aka "Internet porn." A study has been conducted by the International Secure System Lab, but it's not a study in the economics or the business side of the industry. Rather, the approach here was more directed towards computer security and other technical focuses.
Some of their findings include:
- ...approximately 12% of all websites offer pornography of one sort or another..
- ...70% of men under 24 browse these sites
- The fundamental difference between pay sites and free sites (duh)
- Typically pay sites produce content they give to free sites to drum up traffic [back to their pay sites]
- More than 90% of the 35,000 pornographic domains analysed in the study were free sites
- About 3.23% [of 269,000] sites were booby-trapped with adware, spyware and viruses
- As most sites were free, the only resource they could exploit as a revenue source was traffic [to the site]
Aside from forcing the user stay, there's another danger to all this: falling victim to cybercrime...and what better group to infect than those who don't have security on their minds at the moment?
The researchers at the ISECLab conducted an experiment and created two of their own websites. They got a total of about 49,000 different users, and of those users, about 20,000 (less than half) were using a web browser (doesn't matter which one) that had at least one vulnerability that could be hacked into.
Usually, the easiest thing for an attacker to do is to go for low-hanging fruit, and in this case, it means to go where there are very large numbers of people. Places like, say, a porn site, where hundreds of thousands of users frequent daily, and having tight computer security is nowhere on their radar.
So if you're one of the users mentioned above, there are a few things you can do if you would like to continue your activities:
- Keep your browser's security (and your antivirus and anti-spyware) up to date.
- Turn on and use your browser's already available "Safe Browsing" mode, available in your browser's Options or Tools menus.
story via BBC News
pics: mudflap girl, maze lock via Geekologie