Press

WOT Finds Increased Security Threats in the Internet's Red Light District: Adult Sites Cause the Most Damage to Internet Users

Websites offering adult content are the single most significant security threat for Internet users, comprising 31% of dangerous websites. Corporate and home users face an increased risk from web-based security threats such as spyware, viruses, browser exploits and phishing attacks when visiting adult sites.

Helsinki, Finland, PRWEB, June 18, 2008

The WOT, Web of Trust study of 19 million sites covered by the website reputation database was conducted from March to May 2008 and focused on dangerous sites (1 in 20 sites). The key finding revealed that sites containing pornography are the biggest threat for companies and individuals with a potential for financial and data loss as well as computer and network damage. Other dangerous sites were those that offered software (26%) and entertainment (14%) such as games, videos, and music. The main vehicle of attack is a permanent website, unlike the temporary sites used in phishing attacks carried out with the aid of fraudulent email messages. Dangerous sites usually remain operational for months or years, attracting millions of visitors and causing them damage.

Adult content security issue still in the closet

"Visiting the red light district of the Internet makes the user vulnerable to spyware, viruses and leakage of confidential information which can cause significant damage," said Esa Suurio, CEO of Against Intuition Inc., the company that supports Web of Trust. “Given the size of the problem there has been surprisingly little debate on the topic. Perhaps the suffering parties, individuals and companies, hesitate to express their complaints in public.”

Web security the weakest point in an organization's defense

Employees who use company computers, either in the office or remotely, to access inappropriate sites, put their company at risk by introducing malware, viruses and spyware which can cause a security breach in the organization. The potential for damage is enormous, from inside and outside their firewalls, considering that confidential data can be stolen by keyloggers and tracking cookies, a common form of malware used by porn sites.

Home computers at risk from adult content security threat

Ninety percent of school-age children have viewed porn online, most while doing their homework. Children can inadvertently access pornography by innocently mistyping or using popular search terms, landing on misleading URLs and from misuse of brand names by those intentionally exposing them to porn. Unsuspecting victims can easily be fooled by drive-by downloads containing a virus that automatically redirects them to adult-related sites exposing their computer to malware. Once compromised, home computers are vulnerable to browser exploits and other security risks.

Enhanced coverage of adult content in WOT

In order to improve the protection from threats associated with adult content websites, the WOT database has been enhanced with double the coverage of pornographic sites. WOT has information on nearly 1 million sites that are rated poorly for child safety. The month's long project was made possible by using a crawler created by WOT engineers to find the relationships and interconnectedness between sites with adult content. Sophisticated algorithms were used to filter out non-adult content and ensure accurate results. The Porn Links Galaxy photo set includes graphics designed to show the magnitude of links from one porn site to many others, sometimes numbering in the thousands. http://flickr.com/photos/mywot/sets/72157605676861378/

Supporting statistics

WOT offers preventive protection against online security threats and adult content

Web of Trust is a people-driven security tool that warns Internet users about dangerous and suspicious websites. WOT has hundreds of thousands of users and safety ratings of 19 million websites, including nearly 1 million sites that are unsafe for children. WOT works with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers and is a free download. www.mywot.com

About Against Intuition Inc.

Against Intuition Inc. focuses on developing and providing software and services for the WOT community and promotes the community's goals to make the Internet safer. For further information, see about us

Contacts

Name: Deborah Salmi

Phone: +358 40 735 6640

Address: Against Intuition Inc., Itälahdenkatu 27 A, 00210 Helsinki, Finland

Email: deborah@mywot.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/deborahsalmi

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/debsalmi

Name: Esa Suurio, CEO

Phone: +358 40 7169301

Address: Against Intuition Inc., Itälahdenkatu 27 A, 00210 Helsinki, Finland

Email: esa.suurio@mywot.com

Web site: http://www.mywot.com

Blog: http://www.mywot.com/blog