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Author Topic: Malware Campaigns Target Users of Pornhub, XVideos, Other Adult Websites  (Read 118 times)
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« on: February 22, 2019, 11:13:10 AM »

People who visit adult websites are being exposed on a daily basis to malware, phishing, and malicious spam campaigns, with premium accounts used on these websites that get stolen ending up on dark web markets.

While visitors of adult websites being targeted by threat actors is definitely not something new, during 2018 cybercriminals increased their activity dramatically, with attacks targeting adult website credentials, for example, increasing by 300%.

Users who were looking around the web for adult content have been safer during 2018, with the number of attacks dropping by roughly 36% from more than a million in 2017 to around 650,000 last year.

However, while malware targeting adult content viewers declined in diversity, cybercriminals still managed to push out a larger amount of malware samples throughout 2018.

Credential-stealing attacks saw a 300% boost in numbers

According to Kaspersky Lab's year in review report of cyber threats targeting online adult content viewers, credential stealing malware now focuses on a smaller number of websites, cutting down the list from  Brazzers, Chaturbate, Pornhub, Myfreecams, Youporn, Wilshing, Motherless, XNXX, and XVideos, down two only two websites: PornHub and XNXX.

In 2018, the number of attacks using malware to hunt for credentials that grant access to pornography websites grew almost three-fold compared to 2017, with more than 850,000 attempts to install such malware. The number of users attacked doubled, with 110,000 attacked PCs across the world.

To drop malware payloads on their targets' computers, threat actors disguised them as videos on malicious websites they control and used search query results manipulation as the main technique to make sure that their victims were funneled to their first stage infection vectors.

In total, in 2018 87,227 users downloaded malware disguised as adult content in 2018, 8% of them have used their company's network instead of using a personal Internet connection.

Trojan-Downloaders the most distributed malware

Kaspersky Lab's report shows that the Trojan-Downloader malware family was used very frequently as part of malware campaigns that targeted visitors of adult websites, and this can easily be explained by the fact that this type of malware is used as an intermediary infection stage for dropping a wide variety of other malware strains on infected hosts.

In 2018, Kaspersky Lab identified at least 642 families of PC threats disguised under one common pornography tag. In terms of their malicious function, these families were distributed between 57 types (76 last year). In most cases, there are Trojan-Downloaders, Trojans and AdWare.

click to enlarge

Kaspersky's researchers also discovered that phishing attacks that used websites camouflaged as popular adult content portals saw a jaw-dropping increase of 1000% during the fourth quarter of 2018, from the 21,902 attacks observed during the same quarter of 2017.

Although the number of phishing may seem high, its important to note that in relation to the number of site visits (33.5 billion visits in 2018), the percentage of phishing attempts is very small (less than .0001%). This low percentage rate can be attributed to the fact that Pornhub actively monitors and removes phishing websites and offers two-factor authentication when logging into PornHub accounts.

Stolen premium adult website credentials, a profitable business

Also, the total number of unique adult website premium credentials offers almost doubled in 2018 to more than 10,000 on various dar web markets, with prices ranging from $3 to $9, very rarely going above the $10 rate.

The increasing number of premium credentials offers for adult websites on underground markets saw a boost mainly because, as found by Kaspersky, users see the current over-the-counter rates of $20 to $30 for monthly memberships way too steep. And cybercriminals are more than happy to provide the goods if there is a demand for them.

The Kaspersky Lab team analyzed large swaths of data collected from millions of users from all around the globe to understand the cyber threats associated with adult content online:

Using aggregated threat-statistics obtained from the Kaspersky Security Network the infrastructure dedicated to processing cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary participants around the world    we measured how often and how many users of our products have encountered adult-content themed threats.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 11:18:17 AM by javajolt » Logged

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