Porn sites fight back over malware claims

Porn sites identified as harbouring significant amounts of malware have hit back at the study that claimed they were a danger to users.

On Friday we reported findings from security analyst Conrad Longmore, which said users have more than a 50 per cent chance of being infected by malicious software on some popular adult sites, with third party adverts proving the main source of the threats.

But in an email to the BBC, xhamster.com – which scored a malware probability of 42 per cent in Longmore’s metrics study – said it had dealt with security problems on its site. "We had an issue with malware in the past and we totally stopped working with that advertising agency because of that problem," a spokesman said.

"Now our reliable partners are checking new advertisers very strictly, so it's almost impossible to put a new site with malware on xHamster.”

Pornhub, meanwhile, had a huge 53 per cent likelihood of infecting visiting computers according to Longmore’s statistics, prompting the site to follow suit in issuing a firm rebuttal of the claims.

"On average, the website serves over 15.5 billion ads every month," said a spokesperson from Pornhub owner, Manwin. "Isolated incidents of malware are immediately caught, and minute when considering the mammoth amount of traffic our site receives.

"Pornhub prides itself on providing the optimal user experience, in an environment safe from the threat of infection from third-party malvertisements."

But Longmore says his statistics can be read in different ways, and claims the threats were real at the time of his study. Calling the responses a "non-denial denial", Longmore said, "The data is open to interpretation, but there was clearly a problem just one week ago, there may not be a problem today. There might be a problem tomorrow, of course."

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