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Online Ads Are More Dangerous Than Porn, Cisco Says 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-what-you-click dept.
wiredmikey writes "The popular belief is that security risks increase as the user engages in riskier and shadier behavior online, but that apparently isn't the case, Cisco found in its 2013 Annual Security report. It can be more dangerous to click on an online advertisement than an adult content site these days, according to Cisco. For example, users clicking on online ads were 182 times more likely to wind up getting infected with malware than if they'd surfed over to an adult content site, Cisco said. The highest concentration of online security targets do not target pornography, pharmaceutical, or gambling sites as much as they affect legitimate sites such as search engines, online retailers, and social media. Users are 21 times more likely to get hit with malware from online shopping sites and 27 more times likely with a search engine than if they'd gone to a counterfeit software site, according to Cisco's report (PDF). There is an overwhelming perception that people get compromised for 'going to dumb sites,' Mary Landesman, senior security researcher at Cisco, told SecurityWeek."
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Online Ads Are More Dangerous Than Porn, Cisco Says

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  • by phaunt (1079975) * on Friday February 01, 2013 @06:36AM (#42759495)

    The summary, and the Security Week article, write that "Users are more 21 times more likely to get hit with malware from online shopping sites than if they'd gone to a counterfeit software site".

    Cisco's report says that "Online shopping sites are 21 times more likely to deliver malicious content than counterfeit software sites."

    Those statements are not equivalent. Online shopping sites have many more visitors than counterfeit software sites, so they have more opportunity to deliver malware. The same goes for the factor of 27 for search engines.

    Also, it's hard to check the factor of 182 for adult sites, since the report doesn't include that number, or in fact even the words "porn" or "adult".

  • Re:Risky != Risky??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phaunt (1079975) * on Friday February 01, 2013 @07:01AM (#42759577)
    What Cisco's report actually said is that behaviour often perceived as "safe" (such as online shopping) carries more risk than generally thought.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday February 01, 2013 @10:21AM (#42760517) Homepage

    I consider "Adblock" and similar browser and computer add-ons to be *security* tools as much as bandwidth and other management.

    Since the first time I noted browser exploits coming across common news and sales sites, I realized that the current model requires not trust of the sites we visit, but of the advertiser's sites... you know, like google and double-click and the others. I don't want to trust "unknowns" and so I block them unless I need them unblocked for access.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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