Feature

The child porn PC virus

How and why hackers hide illegal images on other people's computers

Computer viruses are bad enough when they steal your credit-card number or crash your PC, but an Associated Press investigation found several cases where viruses downloaded hard-core child pornography onto the laptops or desktop computers of unsuspecting users. When the users are arrested, it is hard to prove that they’re not pedophiles. Why would anyone want to store child pornography on someone else's hard drive? (Watch a report warning people to be careful of viruses that download child pornography)

It’s a good way to frame someone: "It’s difficult to understand the motives for dumping boatloads of child pornography" on someone’s hard drive, says Terrence O’Brien in Switched. Some pedophiles "secretly store their highly illegal collections" on a host computer for remote viewing. But hackers can also do it to destroy the reputations of others. That’s way worse than stealing someone's credit card -- and much more costly for the victim.
"Viruses secretly downloading child pornography"

Pedophiles do this for self defense: Child porn purveyors also put Trojan-horse viruses on unsuspecting computers so that if the real pedophile is caught, says John Leyden in The Register, they can claim the "Trojan did it" defense. That makes it doubly bad for the innocent malware victim, because that defense is now "understandably met with skepticism from law enforcement professionals."
"How malware frames the innocent for child abuse"

Defense is the best offense: Several simple steps can keep out the bad guys, says identity theft expert Robert Siciliano in Blogger News Network. First, make sure your anti-virus software is up to date and set to run automatically. Then update your web browser, so you'll have the latest patches for holes that worms can crawl through. And make sure your wireless Internet connection is secured. Otherwise, you could be at the mercy of "some skeevy sex offender."
"Why is child pornography on your PC?"

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