Religion riskier than porn for online viruses: study

phys.org/news/2012-05-religion-riskier-porn-online-viruses.html

Web wanderers are more likely to get a computer virus by visiting a religious website than by peering at porn, according to a study released on Tuesday.

“Drive-by attacks” in which hackers booby-trap legitimate websites with malicious code continue to be a bane, the US-based anti-virus vendor Symantec said in its Internet Security Threat Report.

The full Symantec report is here:
symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-istr_main_report_2011_21239364.en-us.pdf

Moreover, religious and ideological sites were found to have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites. We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business.

I fully expected there to be a virus attached to this thread…

It’d be pretty funny if the Symantec people put a virus in their PDF. Actually, some of the most reliable hacks come from exploiting flaws in adobe software:
community.rapid7.com/community/metasploit/blog/2011/10/10/client-side-exploit-testing-with-adobecooltypesing

If you want to exploit a client machine in a hurry, you could do worse than installing Adobe Acrobat Reader 9.3.4, available from Adobe itself, and firing off adobe_cooltype_sing. [A specific PDF exploit]

You would think so! Ever notice our occasional troll problem?

I’d rather my computer was in peril than my soul

:extrahappy: :rotfl: :whistle: :sleep:

The obvious solution is to buy more Symantec antivirus software. Preferably the most expensive package for each of your computers, and upgrade twice per year.

Is it any wonder that whenever Symantec releases a report, the conclusion is always that your computer needs more antivirus protection?

That isn’t new nor exclusive to Symantec. When that Mac virus/trojan/malware (we never agreed what to call it) was making the round, all the major venders were trying to take advantage of it to sell more software (Apple released an update like a month ago now to patch the vulnerability. People looking into the virus found that just having a free scanner like ClamXav or even the free Apple Developer Tools caused the virus to abort it’s installation process.

Anti-virus people like to yell out that the sky is falling often. Take anything they say with a grain (or more) of salt.

All of that aside, I stopped using google because of an issue similar to this.

I had several instances where I was googling Catholic images and when I clicked to open the original file a large pornographic image popped up. My guess would be that these religious sites/images/files are set up with virus’s to distract and dissuade people from furthering their search or interest.

Not to be all dramatic, but, if I were the devil I’d want viruses associated with all the religious sites.

You’ll notice it says:

Moreover, religious and ideological sites were found to have
triple the average number of threats per infected site than
adult/pornographic sites.

In other words, sites that folks feel strongly about bring out the trolls & bomb-throwers. Who’da thunk it?

I also notice they didn’t give any stats on the relative risk of different kinds of sites. That’s something I hate about articles like this – “X is the fifth leading cause of death!” one’s first reaction is “Holy mortality, Batman! Time to update our life insurance!”
But dig deeper you may find that your risk of X is actually quite small (perhaps age-related).

A hazard of doing a search via Google Image is that you don’t get warned about possible virus infections. However, if you do a search via Google, you will often be warned in advance of possible dangers

Unfortunately, Google isn’t as easy as Google Image when it comes to finding photos or illustrations.

Yes, I suspect the reason porn sites used to be a common vehicle is because the bad guys treated the virus as a prank, and considered porn viewers somehow “deserving” of being pranked. Or at least, out of embarrassment, less likely to complain.

But we have entered into a nastier, more polemical era. And the bad guys are likely now targeting websites of their perceived enemies.

And…?

EDIT: To come off just a bit less bluntly, what shall we do next, then?

:thumbsup:

It makes sense that which is evil would focus the majority of its efforts attacking that which is good… even in the digital world!

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