One-fifth of malicious mobile websites are porn-related

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In the PC world, pornographic sites no longer present the malware threat they once did. But the same can't be said for the mobile web, where erotic destinations are a high-value target for attackers.

Security firm Blue Coat on Monday revealed that while mobile users infrequently visit porn sites, they are nearly three times as likely to result in infection than other attack vectors, such as phishing scams.

Sasi Murthy, senior director of product marketing at Blue Coat Systems, told SCMagazine.com on Monday that if one visits a malicious site from their mobile device, it's likely distributing porn.

In Blue Coat's “2013 Mobile Malware Report,” only 3.8 percent of the firm's 75 million user sample was detected visiting porn sites. More than 20 percent of the time, however, malicious sites visited these customers turned out to be porn sites, Blue Coat found. 

This is not the case on traditional computers, however. Cisco's "2013 Annual Security Report," released last month, found that once-common malware nesting grounds on PCs – like pornography, pharmaceutical and gambling sites – are now less likely to infect users than legitimate sites and online advertisements. Online ads, for example, were 182 times more likely to deliver content to users than porn sites, the report found.

“I think [attackers] are re-employing tactics that worked in the past to explore what is effective here,” Murthy said of mobile targets. “In the meantime, we can expect to see this year a more weaponized approach, like exploit kits, which we haven't yet seen available much for mobile devices.”

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