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If you own a paid account to a porn site, watch out for hackers. More PCs appear to be getting attacked with malware that’s designed to steal login credentials for the top adult video websites.
Last year, the attacks targeted more than 110,000 PCs across the world, double the number from 2017, according to antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab. On Thursday, it published a report on the malware threat based on anonymized customer data taken from the company’s antivirus products.
In total, the porn credential-hunting infection attempts reached 850,000 in 2018, or about triple the amount from the year before, the security firm said.
The malware can deliver itself as a Trojan that masquerades as a porn-related program or file. To steal the credentials, the malicious processes will monitor what webpages the user opens over a PC. They can also collect the credentials by creating fake login pages to porn sites that’ll secretly record whatever is typed into the password fields.
In 2018, Kaspersky Lab detected five different malware families focused on the porn site credential harvesting. The attacks have been mostly focused on paid accounts for only two sites, Pornhub and XNXX. That’s a significant shift from 2017 when the credential-hunting programs were after accounts from the top 10 porn websites.
“Apparently Pornhub remains popular, not only to regular users of the web, but also to cybercriminals looking for another way of gaining illegal profits by selling user credentials,” Kaspersky Lab said in its report.
You can find hackers selling the stolen credential information on black market websites located on the dark web. Kaspersky Lab examined the top marketplaces and found all of them contained offers for the login information.
“In total, 29 websites displayed more than 15,000 offers to buy one or more accounts to pornography websites,” the security firm added. The prices can go for $3 to $9 per paid account, a significant discount from the $9.99 a month legitimate users spend to maintain a premium Pornhub account.
The research is a reminder to be careful around online porn that comes from shady sources; it could be a hacker-sponsored attempt to install malware on your PC. “Most malware that reaches users’ computers from malicious websites is usually disguised as videos,” Kaspersky Lab’s report added.
To protect yourself, it’s a good idea to avoid installing anything that comes from a questionable porn site. You should also be wary of clicking emails that appear to come from legitimate porn providers such as Pornhub. It’s possible the email could be a phishing scam designed to send you to a malicious website.
“If you wish to buy a paid subscription to an adult content website — purchase it only on the official websit