In case you needed a reason not to surf for porn, here’s one: Nearly all porn sites install some sort of spyware or adware on visitors’ computers, according to a survey released today by Eblocs.com, an anti-spyware vendor.
The study “entailed visiting 100 porn sites and running multiple anti-spyware software programs… to identify any Spyware contaminating the computers.” This spyware included data miners and trojans, while 15% of sites launched porn dialers (which hijack modems and then dial high-cost long distance phone numbers, racking up high phone bills for the user).
Of course Eblocs have an interest in saying all this, as they sell their own solutions to the problem. And 100 websites is not particularly representative of the massive Porn Web out there (I just typed ‘nude’ into Google and got 227 million hits). Those 100 websites could have been skewed towards the sleazier and nastier end of the market — and I’m not talking in terms of the quality of the pornography contained therein.
But nevertheless, I think Eblocs.com has a point. Porn and scams are becoming tighter bedfellows, accompanied by spammers, virus writers and the Russian mafia, as the Internet underground becomes more sophisticated. So it wouldn’t surprise me if more and more porn merchants were doing what they could while they could, loading as much nasty stuff onto a visitor’s computer while they’re browsing. Of course I’m not going to do my own research on this. But if you do, let me know how you get on.