Bizarre malware scam plants child porn on corporate servers

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The Internet Watch Foundation recieved 227 reports of hidden child abuse images over six weeks.

Malware distributors have found their most vile tactic yet: Sneaking the “worst of the worst” child abuse images on the servers of unsuspecting companies as part of a complex Trojan horse scheme.

Here’s how it works, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF): Hackers break into a company’s server and create a hidden folder that contains the images and malware, They then hijack links on legitimate porn sites. When someone clicks those links, they see the horrific images—including scenes of children aged under two being raped—and get infected by the malware.

The IWF, U.K.-based charity that specializes in combatting child porn, said it received 227 reports about the issue over the last six weeks.

“We hadn’t seen significant numbers of hacked websites for around two years, and then suddenly in June we started seeing this happening more and more,” the IWF’s Sarah Smith said.

Smith noted those who were unwittingly redirected to the illegal material were often worried about reporting it. “We know that those people whose computers have been infected were not looking for the criminal content though,” she said.

The revelation comes as a firestorm is brewing in the U.K. over online porn. Prime Minister David Cameron announced last month that all U.K. Web users will have porn filters turned on by default. Some smaller Internet providers bit back, citing free speech concerns and worries over the cost of maintaining such filters.

Photo via asbruf/Flickr

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